Thanks again to Sharon Ito and the ABC Sacramento affiliate channel 10 for having me on their Live Online. The 30 minute interview goes by very fast! For those of you who missed it, the video is below. Also Sharon does an excellent summary of what we discussed which included whether it is too late for the flu vaccine (yes) and ways to afford prescription medications.
SACRAMENTO, CA - If you haven't had your flu shot yet, you can still ask your doctor for one, but it may not be especially effective, said Monday's Live_Online guest Kaiser family physician, Davis Liu, MD.
Liu told viewers the flu vaccine usually takes two weeks to take effect and flu season typically peaks in February and March. Liu said patients were better off washing their hands thoroughly in order to avoid germs. In fact, Kaiser has already closed its flu shot clinics.
Liu said you know you've come down with the flu if you're suddenly overcome by chills, muscle aches and fever. If you call your doctor within a day or two of your symptoms, several prescription medicines are available that can shorten the flu's duration by a day or two. The flu often lasts five days to two weeks.
Liu also gave some suggestions on how to save on prescription medicines. He said patients need to be upfront with their doctors and let them know that money is a consideration. Liu said patients need ask whether a medication is needed in the first place, and if it is, whether a cheaper generic drug can be just as effective. The doctor said patients need to shop around and determine which retailer offers the best price on specific drugs.
The doctor said surveys show the average doctor's visit lasts only 18 minutes, with the doctor interrupting the patient within 23 seconds.
Liu said to make the most of their limited time with a doctor, patients need to prepare a list of their most important health issues. In his book "Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely," Liu wrote, "If at all possible, I recommend tackling no more than four concerns in your office visit, especially if the four are new problems never before evaluated by your doctor. The goal is not to cram in as many problems as possible in a visit, but rather to get the most out of the visit by getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. The aim is quality, not quantity."
You can view the entire interview by News10's Sharon Ito in the Live_Online archive.
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