Fort Worth, Texas,
19
October
2015
|
09:02 PM
America/Chicago

3 ways you can help to make sure you understand your doctor

The Doc Smitty talks (plainly) about health literacy

Health information can be confusing for everyone.

October is Health Literacy Awareness Month. What is health literacy?

Health literacy is being able to find, understand, and use health-related information to make good health care decisions for you and your family.

We get health information from doctors and nurses, medical websites or apps, and even conversations with family and friends.

Some of it can be written or spoken in a way that is confusing. What can you do if you don’t understand?

Take charge! And take this pledge with me:

I, Dr. Smith, pledge to help with my patients with health literacy by:

1.Listening to my family’s story fully before jumping in to ask questions or provide information.

2.Speaking in normal language, not doctor speak and taking extra time for confusing or difficult topics.

3.Researching and sharing good medical websites and apps with families.

I, (insert name here), pledge to help my doctor with health literacy by:

1.Preparing the story of my child’s illness or making sure the person who brings the child in has all the information.

2.Asking my doctor to explain words or terms that I don't understand.

3.Reading information from credible sources and bringing that information to visits for discussion.

About the author

Justin Smith, M.D., is a Cook Children's pediatrician in Lewisville . He attended University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School and did his pediatric training at Baylor College of Medicine. He joins Cook Children's after practicing in his hometown of Abilene for four years. He has a particular interest in development, behavior and care for children struggling with obesity. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with his 3 young children, exercising, reading and writing about parenting and pediatric health issues.

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