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Safety Tips: Get Good Information to Make Good Decisions

To make good decisions about your health care, you need good information.

Where do you find the information you need?

You need to get good information about your health concern. Where do you find information? How do you know what is good information and what is not? Here are some tips:

Contact a support group or community agency that deals with your health problem.

Such organizations can offer valuable information and support. National groups may have a local chapter in your community. Some groups are:

Visit your local library.

Ask the reference librarian for help with your search for information about your health problem.

Make a list of questions to ask your doctor.

After learning as much as you can about your health problem, draw up your list of questions for the doctor.

How do you make your decision?

You want to select the type of medical care that is best for you. How do you decide which treatment is best? To make a decision, you need to:

  1. Check out your options.
    • From your research, find out which treatment programs work well or do not work well for your health problem.
    • Think about how you feel about the types of treatment available.
    • Look at the benefits and risks of each treatment.
  2. Decide what matters most to you.
  3. Work with your doctor to decide on the treatment that is best for you.

What happens after you decide on your treatment?

  1. Work with your doctor to draw up a plan for treatment of your health problem.
  2. Get support. Having support can affect the success of your treatment.

Support affects your attitude, what you expect, and how well you cope. To get the support you need, you can:

  • Ask family and friends for help.
  • Join a support group.
  • Talk with a counselor.

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

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Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA |