Stories We're Following This Week

News + Insights from around the Web + The Patient's Playbook Bottom Line. 


Medical mistakes do harm to an unacceptable number of patients.

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"It is likely that most people will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, sometimes with devastating consequences."

—from a new Institute of Medicine report, "Improving Diagnosis in Health Care

Bottom Line: To protect yourself from diagnostic error: 1. Don't rush toward treatment until you are certain you have an accurate diagnosis; 2. Seek out opinions from specialists who are experts in your condition; 3. If your diagnosis was arrived at from a reading of pathology reports and/or imaging, it's a good idea to have those re-read; 4. Read the IOM's Checklist for Getting the Right Diagnosis, and "Chapter 10: Step 2—Diagnosis," in The Patient's Playbook.


Is Addyi a libido wonder drug or another headache for women?

"It has been called the female Viagra, but I want to tell you why it's not."

—Harvard professor and physician Dr. Paula Johnson, in Robb Report Health & Wellness

Bottom line: Every drug has risks. Discuss them with your doctor and always read the package inserts, which you can find at Drugs@FDA.


6 Simple Travel Tips for People with Type 2 Diabetes

Double-checking your supplies, following an 80/20 rule with food choices, and sticking to your regular routine are among the helpful tips from WebMD.

Bottom Line: You are the best advocate for your health. And building a strong relationship with a primary care physician is a crucial part of that role—especially if you have a chronic illness. If the relationship is there, your doctor and his or her staff will be there for you, just a phone call away for guidance, even when you are traveling.


This is how a flu virus attacks, mutates, and becomes contagious.

 

"The carrier of a devastating flu virus could be as innocent as a child."

National Geographic

Bottom Line: Fall is finally here! But, unfortunately, so is flu season. Flu vaccinations save lives. For more on why you should get yours early, check out the CDC’s What You Should Know for the 2015-2016 Influenza Season.