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Jun 20, 2013

Healthy Living asks the doctor about your personal concerns

The secret to any successful relationship is communication. While dialogue and trust is necessary for longevity and happiness, perhaps the person you should also share those virtues with is your doctor. Tonight Healthy Living finds out the questions your doctor wish you would ask.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

How extensive is your conversation with your doctor? A very important element in your health care is communication. This goes beyond answering the doctor’s questions; you also have a right to ask questions of your physicians as well.


Dr. Fernando Cuellar, Internal Medicine/Intensive Care

“I think the old school mentality is being eroded slowly but surely. Definitely I’m seeing that less and less thanks to technology, thanks to access to information.”


Fernando Cuellar

Dr. Fernando Cuellar is an Internist & Intensivist. He confesses that has seen a shift in doctor/patient relationship.


Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“If you notice nowadays we even switch the name form patients to clients because patients – not everybody who comes into the office is a patient, you can have patient people coming in – very healthy people athletes for example coming in for a checkup and that’s not a patient. That’s a client and we are offering a service.”


Understanding, primarily that you are seeking the service of a doctor and most importantly you have a right to ask questions about your body.  One of the places to start is with your basic info.


Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“I would encourage people to ask the basic things first: their height their weight. And their vital signs their blood pressure, their heart rate. What risk factors you would find them having depending on their profile or their family history for example.”


Be inquisitive. Ask your doctor about the causes of the symptoms you may be having. You can always ask for specific tests, and also find out what the tests would be looking for.


Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“Each one should be discussed. So…What am I doing an ultrasound for? For example. What are you expecting? What are you not expecting? Those are the types of discussions that I very much enjoy that people would ask. People have a right and to exercise that right plainly.   I’m still hearing and seeing people not really knowing what medication they are on. For example, the names, the dosage, the common side effects, what are the rare side effects, the pros and the cons to the medication. Sometimes we do have to use a medication that carries a potential side effect but the pros using it can far outweigh the side effects of using it. So people should be alerted. One of the cautions, I tell people, is when they read the information that comes along with the medication, there’ a long page of side effects and a side effect doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll suffer. It’s just that it can potentially happen.”


What about asking if you should get a second opinion??


Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“That’s a right, we should as care takers tell the person, there are two situations that come across for this. A challenge myself a difficulty in making a diagnosis, I would ask for a second opinion, either in my field or another field. Or when I sense that the person is in doubt I encourage them to seek a second opinion, locally or abroad.”


He also advises that the patient research before visiting the doctor.


Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“More and more I’m seeing people that are better informed than say for example five or ten years ago. I’m speaking about people who are in their twenties thirties and forties. They are coming in expecting a discussion, expecting to talk, expecting to be informed to clarify the different medical issues that they have.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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