Seems nowadays you can’t get out of office visit, ER or hospital without one or many tests. Seems many of my colleagues never touch the patient but order tests including cardiac catheterization to biopsy.

Anytime you are subjected to a medical test presume there is a reason and those results are important. Yes often they are ordered in the name of prevented care adlib mammogram, colonoscopy, ECG and the like.ecg

You should know why any test is ordered, exactly how will a result mean to how you are cared for. There are tests that are ‘nice to know’ but not necessary for good medical care.  So since you are the one being exposed to radiation, needles and tubes – speak up – ask till you understand. Don’t be shocked if then the test is not ordered!

I have long said never get an ECG (EKG) without asking for a copy to keep in your wallet or take a photo of to have in your smartphone. Please take a few minutes to go to DocHandal’s (iTunes)  podcast channel “Listen Up” and listen to the podcast titled ‘Healthy Wallet”.  You may have to pay for personal copies however if your medical records are being sent to another medical care provider there is no charge. Transfer of medical information between caregivers is part of ‘continuity of care’, something that is required by law.

Finally patients are freely given a DVD/CD of their imaging study -for example an Ultrasound or CT scan. So why get a copy of medical tests? Take it to appointments often you need to take this to the ordering medical provider who may get the written reports later than your copy of the test/study. Many capable physicians are able to interpret and actually prefer to interpret the imaging study rather than just rely on the report.

It is your health, body and you are responsible for it!