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Take Charge of Your Own Health

  • Published: 2009-01-18 (Revised/Updated 2010-07-13) : Stuart Goltzman.
  • Synopsis: Take charge of your own health by researching health and medical condition websites on the Internet.

Main Document

Never go to a doctor without a written list of questions and concerns, as you are the customer.

In the 1970's when I was in my 20s I developed a case of severe mosaic plantar warts which were quite painful. Especially discouraging was the fact that I was an avid runner clocking an average of 20 miles a week. I was a specimen of good health. I loved to run but had to give it up due to the pain.

I started going to doctors ranging from dermatologists to immunologists. At the time, Microsoft Windows did not even exist. But I had access to the Internet which did exist primarily as a portal for scientists and doctors to share their research and community through many medical universities. There were also specialized databases like Dialog and Nexis which remain premium sources of authoritative medical research from all over the world. These databases are expensive but if you can afford it they are the best source of professional medical literature available. With the advent of fast computers and Microsoft Windows these databases are now very user friendly.

In researching my own illness it occurred to me that I could offer a service that would weed through much of literature available and save doctors and consumers a lot of time by creating research publications that I could sell to the public and medical profession thus saving thousands of people from repeating the same steps. I received a lot of publicity and even sold some of my work to John's Hopkins University on the topics of Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer. I chose these topics because they are two of the most prevalent cancers pervading society.

I almost make a success of it but the cost of obtaining the information was simply too prohibitive to make any money. The name of the company was Multimedia Solutions and the title of the publications was Health Reports. To my knowledge I even saved a mans life who was suffering from a deadly glioblastoma brain tumor. I located a clinical trial and the man came to the US from Israel and the treatment prolonged his life.

Today much of the best free or low cost medical information can be found at sites on the internet.

Clinical trials is where most new western medicine originates. The best trials are phase three and four because you are assured receiving the actual medicine and not a placebo. Make sure you are not getting a placebo.

Never go to a doctor without a written list of questions and concerns. Be reasonable. You are the customer. If the doctor belittles you or fails to answer your questions you should probably find someone else. Also, always get a second opinion. If the second opinions differs from the first, most health plans and Medicare allow for a third opinion.

Another important factor is selection of primary care doctor and medical centers of excellence.

There are doctors and then there are doctors doctors. I very strongly recommend you read the works of Dr. John Connolly, past president of the New York Medical College. Doctor Connolly' primary mission is to survey tens of thousands of doctors to determine which doctors the doctor's themselves seek out when faced with illness of self or a loved one. The principal is simple. Doctor's have inside information about the profession not readily available to the general public. If you mimic the techniques used by doctors when confronted with illness, you are probably going to get a better result than just randomly selecting physicians. Doctor Connolly is a friend and I have worked on projects with him including developing his first website. I am confident that Dr. Connolly's methodology is the most legitimate, honest and authentic endeavor to seek out the best doctors and hospitals and offer this information to the public.

Hang in there.

It can get very frustrating running from internists to specialties ranging from infectious disease, Rheumatology, hematology, oncology, immunology, autoimmune specialists and on and on. Regroup and take respite if necessary but get back to it. Wouldn't it be great if you could just check in a center of excellence like the Cleveland Clinic and have a Dr. House and a team of crack diagnosticians find out what is wrong and fix it. But that's not the way medicine works. Many a time I have had to drag myself leaden from doctor to doctor often to weak to even drive, But this is the way it works unless you have unlimited resources.

By the way, after suffering for five yeas with my warts having courses of chemotherapy, surgery, cryosurgery and medications I finally found a promising cure but as fate would have it my warts vanished spontaneously and have never returned in over 20 years. Some say the body regenerates itself every 7 years. I don't know why I went into remission.. Medicine is a mystery, an art and a science.

Find volunteer groups on the internet and join chat groups. They offer an invaluable resource and a great support system as well.

You may be too ill to do this by yourself. Find advocates, family, friends whoever can help.

I wish you the best in your personal quest to find a cure for what ails you.

Reference: 2009 Stuart Goltzman All rights Reserved

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