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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.

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

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'Merry Christmas' on YouTube.

The world must have been—mostly—good this year. Because Elton John and Ed Sheeran have teamed up to gift us all with a brand new Christmas single.

The song, aptly named “Merry Christmas,” is a perfect blend of silly and sweet that’s cheery, bright and just a touch bizarre.

Created with the holiday spirit in every way, it has whimsical snowball fights, snow angels (basically all the snow things), festive sweaters, iconic throwbacks and twinkling lights galore. Plus all profits from the tune are dedicated to two charities: the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

I personally don’t know which is more of a highlight: Ed Sheeran channeling his inner-Mariah, performing a faux sexy dance in a leg revealing Santa outfit, or him flying through the air with a giant Frosty the Snowman … who seems to be sporting glasses similar to Elton’s. Are we meant to believe that Elton is the Snowman? This music video even has mystery.
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