Medical practice has changed quite a bit over the years. But as the population continues to grow and people are living longer, a shift in the way healthcare services are delivered needs to change. Unfortunately, despite having the most expensive healthcare system, the United States ranks last among 11 industrialized countries on measures of health system quality according to a Commonwealth fund report.

As costs continue to rise, the quality of care seems to get worse. Wait times are getting longer, and after you finally get seen, you will rarely leave feeling better about your health. Even though you may feel like no one seems to care about your overall health, there are still healthcare providers that put patients first.

With so many different options available these days it is understandable why people get lost navigating the healthcare maze. Primary care physicians, Osteopathic doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, massage therapists are just some of the licensed providers you may look to for help. But what happens when you end up not getting the outcome you desire?

If you end up going to one provider with no results, you may try another provider in a different

discipline who gives you information that is completely different than the first person you saw. Now you find yourself having conflicting diagnoses and still have no improvement.

The best advice is to remember only a medical doctor can give you a diagnosis. Every other provider may be able to give you an idea of what your ailment is and may be capable of providing treatment, but cannot legally diagnose your condition. And remember, googling your symptoms is not a very accurate way to find out what is wrong!

Find someone you trust and feel confident in handling your healthcare needs. Avoid doctor-hopping or getting treatment from multiple providers who aren’t in communication with one another. If you are happy with your current state of health, stick with what is already working for you. But if you find yourself living in pain and unable to live your life the way you want, don’t just settle for substandard care, get yourself a medical provider who puts your needs first.

Yours in health,

Keith Pacific