In 5 things that I want my patients to know, by Leana Wen, MDpublished today on, Dr Wen states:

1. Antibiotics will not help the common cold.

2. A CT scan will not improve a headache.

3. Every test has potential side effects.

4. Lifestyle changes make a huge difference.

5. Aspirin is one of few medications that’s been definitively shown to help you.

Dr. Wen’s advice is indeed wise and in many instances, parallels the advice I have been expounding on in this blog for the last 2 years. Other things I want my patients to know include:

6. Immunizations work! Immunizations prevent disease and, while they have potential side effects, are very safe.

7. The Flu vaccine cannot cause you to get the flu, cannot give you a cold, and does not weaken your immune system.

8. Doctors want to help you get well and improve your health. We would not offer a treatment to you or your family if we thought that it would hurt you.

9. The only truly foolish question is the one you didn’t ask. Feel free to ask me anything without the fear of embarrassment, just not at 3 in the morning if it’s not an emergency.

10. Doctors have on-call services to assist you in an emergency/urgent situation when we are not in the office. Please do not call after hours to get a refill or dodge an office visit.

11. No two insurance policies are the same. Know what your policy covers and what it does not. 

12. Stress is a disease and is contagious. Learn to manage yours and don’t transmit it to others.

13. Donating blood is the gift that keeps giving! When you donate blood on a regular basis, not only do you help others but you help yourself build the ability to make new blood more efficiently.

14. ‘Chicken Steps” work. You can become the person you want to be by setting your course and taking one tiny step after another in the right direction.

15. Diets are truly unnatural acts.

16. Because you have never had something is no guarantee that you won’t get it. As you age, you are likely to have a lot of new experiences. Work hard to make them healthy experiences.

17. You can change for the better. Define who you are and then refine who you are.

18. Love more, hate less!

19. Thirty minutes a day of exercise is not too much to ask of your body. It will pay off in spades!

20. Enjoy today and every day. No one really knows what tomorrow holds. Count your blessings in the morning and at night.

My list could go on and on but I will stop here and spend some time with my family, Skype with my children, and count my blessings. 

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