The correct answer is C.
Historically, our culture has had a bad habit of treating doctors as if they were gods and some doctors sare still drinking that Kool-Aid, becoming irritated when you bring out your list of questions about things you found on the internet or in medical journals. Don't be deterred. Your doctor gets paid to provide your medical care and part of her job is to educate her patients about the disease and treatment options. If you don't know what's going on, how can you really grant "informed consent?"
However, when you're sitting in a cold examining room wearing only a ridiculous hospital gown and your doctor is acting as if you're wasting his time, it can be difficult to assert yourself. Taking a course in assertiveness training can be very helpful, but little things like bringing in a list of your questions can not only help you remember to get all the information you need, but also begin to create a subtle shift - you become the person who sets the agenda and controls the meeting, not the doctor.
Willingness to Challenge Health care Provider
You've done some research on HealthCentral that suggests you might benefit from a different sort of treatment. When you tell your doctor, she waves her hands dismissively and tells you to stop listening to other people. You say
b. "Bite me!"
c. "I respect your expertise, but I live with this disease every day. I have given this treatment six months and my RA is still active and I'm in a lot of pain so I asked other people in my situation what has worked for them. I think it's time to try something else. I need my rheumatologist to work with me and to give me more details about options so I can decide what is best for me."
The correct answer is C.
There is a term called compliance used in the health care system to nicely manipulate you into becoming passive. A compliant patient follows the treatment plan set by his doctor. A compliant patient does what she's told. Self-advocacy challenges that with something called mindful non-adherence, which is simply a thoughtful disagreement with your doctor. It requires being in touch with your body, being knowledgeable about your disease and doing research to support your position that a certain treatment plan won't work for you or that you'd be better off trying something else
And it's not easy. Your doctor is a medical expert and having the confidence to challengesomeone in their area of expertise when you are sort of an amateur requires not just research, but guts. Although your rheumatologist is an expert in RA, remember that you are the expert in how RA affects your body and your life and that means you are the expert in this particular case of RA.
Even if you have the best doctor in the world, being a good advocate for yourself will improve your experience in the health care labyrinth and will help you feel confident and safe in the treatments you receive. When you feel confident, your life with RA will be better.