4 Ways to Partner With Your Doctor

How to work with your MD to take charge of your health

partner with your doctor

By: Toby Cosgrove, MD

Advertising Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Most doctors go into healthcare with an overwhelming desire to help people. Providing care is a two-way street between a doctor and patient. Working together, they get the best results.

If we truly want to impact the health of our nation, we need to:

  • prescribed medications

    1. Take prescribed medications and advice

    It is estimated that up to 50 percent of patients don’t take prescribed medicines or follow their doctors’ recommendations. Doctors are passionate about their responsibility to care for their patients, and they prescribe and advise after careful consideration of what is best for a patient’s health and wellbeing. “Non-compliance,” or not following a doctor’s advice, can harm patients and can even become deadly.

  • Stop smoking

    2. Stop smoking

    If you found a $100 bill on the street, wouldn’t you pick it up? Quitting smoking is hardly this easy, but those who do it enjoy an immediate financial premium. Of course, quitting offers benefits much more valuable than cash: possible years of extra life thanks to a drastically reduced risk of heart disease, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, emphysema, and other diseases. While it’s understandable that some long-term smokers may have trouble quitting, why would anyone start smoking with all we now know about the risks?

  • Eat healthy

    3. Eat healthy

    Those who struggle with obesity deserve our compassion and encouragement to lose weight. They need our help as obesity rates in this country climb. Getting to, and staying at a healthy weight spares people from heart disease, joint problems, diabetes, and other issues that endanger the lives of people who are obese. Losing weight is a challenge – but it can be done, and it can go a long way to help people live longer and happier.

  • Be more active

    4. Be more active

    Exercise is the closest thing to a sovereign remedy: a cure for all things. Forty minutes a day of raised pulse and respiration rate has been shown to improve depression, digestion, incidence of migraine, sexual dysfunction and physical appearance. It also lowers blood pressure, lowers your risk of diabetes, and reduces your risk of some cancers.

When people choose healthy habits and behaviors and work with their doctor as part of a team, they get the best care possible. It’s important to take initiative and to have an open dialogue with doctors as we pursue a common goal: your health.

Advertising Policy

Delos M. Cosgrove, MD LinkedIn Profile

Advertising Policy
Advertising Policy