Five Steps to Selecting the Best Alternative Medicine


  • Step One: Learn Your Options

  • Step Two: Get Good Referrals

  • Step Three: Screening the Candidate

  • Step Four: Interviewing the Provider

  • Step Five: Forming a Partnership



  • Step One: Learn Your Options


    Add to your M.D.’s recommendations by researching the latest resources to get all your treatment options.


    Knowledge is power. Whether you are looking for information to enhance
    your health or searching for the answer to reverse a terminal illness,
    you’ll want all the credible information you can find about your condition.
    And you can do just that when you learn all your options.

    In order to do that, you’ll need “The Seven Key Sources To Good Health Care
    Information.” They are:



    1. Your doctor and other health care providers

    2. Other patients and their friends

    3. Libraries

    4. The Internet

    5. Medical and Health Information Service Organizations

    6. Advocacy Organizations and Support Groups

    7. Professional Organizations and Trade Associations


    Further, when gathering health care information, it important to use “The Three Question Test For Complete And Dependable Health Care Information.”



    1. What are the best treatments available in the world today
    for my health care condition/diagnosis?

    2. Are those treatment proven effective?

    3. How do I know if the information is reliable?


    By using this test and the other strategies outlined in Chapter 1 of Five Steps To Selecting the Best Alternative Medicine, you can gain access to
    all the accurate and dependable health care information you need to make informed choice about your treatment options.


    By getting informed you become a savvy health care consumer no longer bound to one doctor’s opinion or one medical system’s answers to meet yours and your family’s health care needs. Remember, by learning all of your options, you increase your chances of getting the health care results you want.




    Step Two: Get Good Referrals


    Find referrals through various sources and verify that these referrals have the capability to really help you.


    An effective selection process is the key to locating a good health care professional. Getting high quality referrals of good candidates is the best way to start that process. Step Two provides you with the information and
    know how to get those high quality referrals and to begin a selection
    strategy which can be used in hiring almost any alternative health care
    provider. Remember -they work for you!

    Relying just on family and friends may not give you the selection choice
    you may need to find the alternative health professional that is right for
    you. You may need to rely on more than one referral source.

    Here are the seven key sources for getting good referrals:

    1. Family, friends and colleagues

    2. Local alternative practitioners

    3. Local health-food stores

    4. Support groups

    5. Professional associations

    6. Alternative health care schools and colleges

    7. Referrals services and advertisements


    When getting a referral, you’ll want to get as much information from your
    source as possible. Many times, with just a little extra information,
    you’ll know immediately whether this referral has possibility for you or
    not. For this reason it is important to know the right questions to ask.

    In Chapter 2 of Five Steps To Selecting The Best Alternative Medicine you
    can discover what these questions are as well as specific details on how to
    use “The Seven Key Sources For Getting Good Referrals” to your best
    advantage.

    With a list of good referrals, you can feel confident that you have tipped
    the scales in your favor and you are now just a few steps away from finding
    a health care provider who you’ll want to work with.




    Step Three: Screening the Candidate


    Make use of an alternative practitioner’s staff to get reliable information about the provider and how they work.


    The alternative health care provider’s office staff is an invaluable
    information source to you. Without spending a penny in fees, you can get a
    more in-depth picture about a provider’s personality, his or her expertise,
    his or her educational training, and which associations or professional
    organizations he or she belongs to. From this information, as well as
    additional information you will garner from asking some very specific,
    well-targeted questions, you will gain greater certainty as to whether this
    candidate could be your health care provider.

    In order to do that, you need to know what those questions are as well some
    other important information that can assist you in getting the answers you
    need to make an informed and educated health care decision about the
    practitioner.

    Here are some examples:

  • Can you provide me with literature about the health care provider’s

    educational background and philosophy of treatment?

  • What success has this alternative doctor had in treating patients with

    physical problems similar to mine?

  • How long has this practioner/doctor been in practice?
  • What is the practitioner’s fee structure and your policy with insurance?
  • How much can I expect to pay on my first visit, including tests,
    supplements, and prescriptions?

    By using the information and the questions outlined in Chapter 3 of Five
    Steps To Selecting The Best Alternative Medicine, you can narrow your list
    of practitioner candidates to a select few whom you would like to meet
    personally. By doing this, you are only one step away from the alternative
    health care practitioner with whom you will want to develop a health care
    partnership.




    Step Four: Interviewing the Provider


    Ask the provider all the pertinent questions to know
    if you can confidently work with this professional.

    To successfully interview a health care provider, you must ask the right
    questions and use your own gut instincts to get a feel of who this person
    is and if they are right for you. A well conducted interview will provide
    you with the valuable data to determine if this is the health care
    professional you will want to work with.

    In order to do, it is best to first ask yourself, “What kind of personality
    do I need in a health care provider?”

    Superbly trained health care providers come in a wide range of
    personalties. Some have nurturing bedside manners and are compassionate and
    sensitive with their patient/clients. Some are cold rationalist who don’t
    really care about the thoughts and feelings of their patients. Others are
    somewhere in the middle.

    You need to determine which type of personality is best for you and your
    current health care needs. Knowing this will assist you during your
    interview process in determining if a particular health care provider is
    right for you.

    Also, you need to know the key strategies to make the most of your meeting.
    Here are some examples:

  • Be courteous, comfortable and frank during your meeting

  • Describe clearly what you know about your condition

  • Share what you have learned about treatment options

  • Respond honestly yet courteously to the provider’s recommendations,
    especially if you disagree.

  • Pace the interview and remember to listen.

  • Keep the details straight. Taking notes or bringing a tape recorder can
    help.

  • Use your intuition as well as you mind when sizing up this
    professional.


    This step requires that you make the effort and take the time to visit a
    health care provider. Sometimes you will also have to pay a small fee for
    the provider’s time. You’ll find, however, that the effort, time and money
    in a productive interview is a good investment in your health.




    Step Five: Forming a Partnership


    Maximize your healing potential by developing an active alliance with your alternative health care provider.


    A health care professional as a “partner” may be a new concept for you. As
    a result, you may feel like your are making up the rules as you go along.
    For the most part you will be.

    In order to have the best results from such a partnership, it is important
    to bring “The Four Cornerstones To All Good Health Care Relationships.”
    into this special relationship. These cornerstones will help you form a
    relationship that will benefit both you and your health care provider. They
    are:

    1. Mutual respect and caring

    2. Honest communication

    3. A shared commitment to healing

    4. A treatment contract


    To ensure that your health care partnership produces the results you want,
    use “The Four Action Steps for Forming A Successful Health Care
    Partnership.” They are:

    1. Be responsible for agreeing to, monitoring, and evaluating
    the treatments you receive

    2. Negotiate a “health care contract” with your provider

    3. Support your healing physically, emotionally, mentally,
    and spiritually

    4. Practice balancing flexibility with inflexibility


    For more details on “The Four Cornerstones” and “The Four Action Steps” and
    other valuable health care partnership information refer to Chapter 5 of
    Five Steps To Selecting The Best Alternative Medicine.

    By forming a health care partnership you join an ever growing number of
    health care consumers who have empowered themselves by taking control of
    their health care destiny. Keep in mind that your goal is to have a
    beneficial alliance with a health care professional so you can get healthy.
    Remember to keep the concept of getting health as your main objective.

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    Avatar Written by Michael Alan Morton PhD

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