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Healthcare Literacy : A Major Challenge

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Healthcare literacy is a major challenge in America today, but many Americans do not know what healthcare literacy entails. The World Health Organization (2009) defines health literacy “the degree to which people are able to access, understand, appraise, and communicate information to engage with the demands of different health contexts to promote and maintain good health across the life-course.” Have you every left your doctor’s office feeling confused even after you asked the doctor for an explanation of your condition? Did you leave with a feeling of uncertainty of your diagnoses? Many people across the nation, and around the world are put in this predicament without any knowledge on what steps to take or what questions to ask.…show more content…
(Gigerenezar, 2011)
Let’s say your doctor states that you required surgery, would you know what to ask or what exactly happens next; many people don’t. You should be considering on getting a second opinion, what are the risk if I do, or do not have the surgery? Is there an alternative to surgery? What are the statistics of survival, or cure? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself and your doctor. Both you and your doctor should be working together on ways to proceed, it should never be a one-sided conversation but often it is. Unfortunately question like these never get asked. There is a blind trust we have when it comes to our doctors. Sadly, doctors are not always looking after the interest of their patients, at times they practice a phenomenon call “defensive medicine” which refers to the practice of recommending a diagnostic test or treatment that is not the best option for the patient, but one that protects the physician against the patient as a potential plaintiff. (Gigerenezar, 2011) Defensive medicine leads to over prescribing unnecessary test, medications and surgeries, which will then lead to malpractice lawsuits and ultimately an increase in healthcare cost. Are goal in this presentation is to bring awareness, as well as provide the readers with ways to combat the health literacy epidemic. We will do
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