It's a fact that healthcare is inefficient for such a huge burden it lays on the average person. As the cost of health care rises each year, its lack of efficiency will, most likely, remain the same.
Sometimes we have misconceptions that the health care system will take good care of us. This is not to say there are not good health care providers but that the real responsibility lies in our hands. Use these tips to take charge of your own health care so that you can have peace of mind.

Stay on top of making appointments when you need tests done on a yearly basis. Make sure you schedule them ahead of time to keep your health care tests current. Try to schedule them a year in advance and keep a good calendar to record them in. You can even program your outlook express calendar to remind you in advance of the appointment.

To take charge of your own healthcare, have a list of concerns or complaints ready for your doctor or specialist. Don't expect them to ask you specifically how your health is in specific areas. Keep a running list so that you will be prepared to discuss them with your doctor.

Stay on top of tests. If you don't get a call back on a test that was done, call your doctor. Don't let it slide only to find out that maybe the results weren't so good. I'm not saying your doctor shouldn't call you, I'm saying if by chance they don't you should be ready to call them to confirm the test was OK. There are slip ups in health care and if you aren't proactive, you may end up not where you want to be. Taking charge of your own healthcare means protecting yourself!

If you are going to a specialist, try to do some simple research on the doctor. You can find doctor profiles on the internet which will probably tell you basic information. If you ask around you might be able to find a friend or relative that know them and offer you an opinion about them.

In serious illnesses or injuries needing surgery, don't be afraid to get a second opinion. If you are not positively sure that it's the right decision, see another doctor for a second opinion. Remember that your healthcare is in your hands and you should take active measures to make sure it stays that way.