Monday, November 26, 2007

A Thanksgiving Wish List

On this eve of Thanksgiving, I'm glad that I live in a country where the best health care in the world is obtainable. I'm having a total knee replacement in two weeks and am glad that I'll be in a first rate institution with a great staff and great technology and am very fortunate that I have health insurance that will eliminate any financial burden from this process.
Although I am thankful for these things, I also have a Thanksgiving wish list:
--I wish that our health care system had not become such a financial juggernaut that primarily rewards hospitals and physicians who do expensive procedures.
--I wish that patients would learn how to take personal responsibility for their health care.
--I wish that every patient had access to the internet and could routinely interact with a physician online to get answers to health care questions.
--I wish everyone had a compassionate, caring primary care physician who would help them coordinate their health care.
Although I'm sure my wish list is lofty and unrealistic, each of you can make a decision to develop a relationship with a primary physician, hopefully one who encourages you to use the internet to obtain information and interact with him/her about health care. And you can use the information on the internet to help prevent disease rather than dealing later with treatment of conditions (such as diabetes) that may result from failure to address important issues, such as weight control and nutrition.

How do you start?:
1. Work on obtaining optimum weight (Body Mass Index of 25 or less)
2. Normalize your cholesterol (LDL of 100 or less)
3. Exercise (5 days a week of 30 to 40 minutes, combine weights and aerobics)
4. Get a physical (complete history, examination and basic lab tests)
If you have questions about how to do any of theses things, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Thanksgiving...

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