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Posted Friday, January 19, 2007
Getting the Most Out of a Trip to the Doctor’s Office
Yonkers, NY — Patients and doctors disagree on some essential issues according to three new surveys conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center. The survey of 39,090 patients and 335 primary-care physicians revealed discrepancies between doctors’ and patients’ perceptions of following medical advice, the role of prescription drug ads in the exam room, and the value of online research of medical conditions.
The full results of the survey as well as advice on how consumers can get better care from their doctors appear in the February issue of Consumer Reports. Among the survey’s key findings:
Consumer Reports’ survey results also reveal that doctors think the health-care system works much better for drug and health-insurance companies than for primary-care doctors and their patients. CR notes that the pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars marketing prescription drugs directly to patients; and wining and dining doctors so they’ll prescribe them.
How to Prepare and Make the Most of a Doctor’s Appointment
Consumer Reports advises patients to avoid picking a doctor at random from their health plan’s list or out of the phone book. Survey results revealed that people who found their physicians through someone they trusted, such as a friend, family member, or another doctor, were more satisfied with their care. For more information on checking up on a doctor’s qualifications, visit www.ConsumerReports.org/doctorlookup.
For the patient who feels rushed during the appointment, Consumer Reports prepared a “10-minute checklist” that features important questions regarding ailments, tests, treatments, and lifestyle changes that will help patients make the most of their time with the doctor.
The report also features ratings for doctors’ attributes as well as what bothered both patients and doctors. For example, 19 percent of patients could not schedule an appointment within a week, while 41 percent of doctors thought their patients often waited too long to make one.
The February 2007 issue of Consumer Reports is on wherever magazines are sold. To subscribe, call 1-800-765-1845 or log onto www.ConsumerReports.org.
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