Tell your doctor what you learn.
When you find information online or through your peer network, don’t keep it to yourself—share it with your health care team. “Sometimes we patients expect doctors to know everything.
But how can they?” asks deBronkart. “Consider that the average family doctor treats thousands of conditions, and more than 2,000 new medical journal articles are published every day.” When bringing info to your doctor, be respectful and honest, and ask for her input. “Say, ‘I found this—what do you think?’” deBronkart suggests. Keeping a copy of your medical records and sharing things in your medical history your doctor might not know about is important, too, says Sands. “Patients who view their health records online or track their own data and share it with their physicians may be able to avoid errors, such as drug interactions or allergies, missed screenings, and duplicate testing—as in, ‘Actually, Doctor, I just had that test done a few months ago at another facility,’” he says.