We know a visit to a doctor or health professional can be a little daunting. Often you are given a lot
of information and must make some big choices quickly about what path of management
you want to try for a particular problem. Leaving a doctor’s office and realising you didn’t
ask all the questions you wanted happens all too often- even to us!!!
You may have received a few opinions regarding your symptoms or medical condition. Or
maybe during treatment it is suggested you consult a surgeon to help improve things
further. Alternatively you realise you have a similar condition to a friend, but you each had
a different option presented as the ‘right’ course of treatment. It can be a confusing time as
you decide what you need to do. Your body is your temple, right? so how do you know your
treating it the right way.
A simple strategy for navigating medical advice.
There is a simple acronym that can help you make sure you are getting all the information
you may need to make the navigation a little easier. It can work for any medical advice you
seek not just conditions you may be visiting our clinic for. What is it you ask? Simple. Always remember to use your B.R.A.I.N !!!
B: Benefits – what are the benefits of the treatment being suggested?
R: Risks – are there any risks with the suggested treatment/ or management?
A: Alternatives – are there any alternative treatments, or is there an alternative clinician I can talk to about this (a second opinion).
I: Intuition– Your intuition is a strong advocate for your body, after all, if you have a procedure done, its your body that is being treated. Trust yourself!
N: Nothing – Don’t forget not all conditions need to be treated straight away, it’s fine to ask ‘what if I leave it for now?’ sometimes non-life threatening conditions can be managed at a time that suits you better and will provide a better outcome. A good clinician will be able to talk you through this. For example a surgery that requires you not to lift following it for 6 weeks may be best left until your don’t have toddlers to lift any more. You may be quite fine to manage it conservatively for a while, both improving the success rate of the surgery when it is done, and your ability to cope afterwards.
A good clinicians should be able to answer these questions for you, or point you in the
direction of someone who can help you better. It is your right as a healthcare consumer in
Australia to ask for a second opinion, so don’t forget to do so if you think it will guide you to
make a more informed choice.
September is prostate awareness month! The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia will he hosting a #AskTheExperts webcast on Wednesday, the 20th of September. Pencil it in your diary to learn more about prostate cancer and in the meantime, if you have any further questions on the role that physiotherapy can play before and after prostate surgery, get in touch with Jane, our resident expert in men’s health and prostatectomy rehabilitation.