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Your Doctor Asks You This Question All The Time. Why Can't You Ever Answer It?

A while back, I had a couple medical issues come up at the same time. I had to see multiple doctors and specialists, and each would ask the same thing: "What medications are you on?"

Your Doctor Asks You This Question All The Time. Why Can't You Ever Answer It?

Right now, could you accurately tell your doctor what medications you're on?

If you can't, you have plenty of company. But that doesn't make it a party. You might think, "Well, that's my doctor's job." It is, but your doctor can only track what they know.

You are the one thing your medical team has in common. So it's important that you keep a accurate, updated medication list to share with every doctor or specialist you see.


It doesn't hurt to include your emergency contact as well.

In a Canadian study, a hospital received an inaccurate medication list for new patients up to 2/3 of the time.

It also concluded that 41% of these errors were important and 22% could have hurt the patient. If the patient, their referring doctor, or their emergency contact had a full medication list, those errors could have been prevented.

Your medication list should be accurate.

It should include prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and any herbal supplements. It should also include any medicated cream, sprays, patches, suppositories, inhalers, or other medical devices.

Your medication list should also be up to date.

If another doctor has in any way changed your medication regimen, your list should reflect that and you should update the members of your health care team the next time you see them.

You should trust your medical team enough to talk to them if you have concerns about your medications.

Especially if those concerns are enough for you to want to change your regimen. You may have good reasons to make changes, but making those changes on your own can be dangerous.

Don't be embarrassed to share adverse reactions, safety concerns, budget issues, or difficulties in regularly taking your medications. This is crucial information for your doctors, and they may be able to work with you to find a solution that keeps you healthy while addressing your concern.

If you're uncomfortable sharing this information with your practitioners, consider whether changing your providers might make it easier for you.

Remember, your medical team is there to keep you healthy, but they can't do it without YOU.

Check out this video by Dr. Mike Evans for more about how to keep yourself safe and your team informed.

Wondering how I keep track? I like the Medisafe app, which is available for free on Android and iOS.

If you're going to go the old-fashioned route, make sure your medication list includes:

  • Medication name (including whether it's brand-name or generic)
  • When the medication was added
  • Why the medication was added
  • Who added the medication
  • How long you're supposed to take the medication
  • The dosage prescribed and the dosage taken
  • Any side effects (benign or adverse)

What do you use? What are you going to try? Tweet me and let me know.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less