Wednesday, March 09, 2005

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Tip-Offs to Rip-Offs
New health frauds pop up all the time, but the promoters usually fall
back on the same old cliche's and tricks to gain your trust and get
your money. According to FDA, some red flags to watch out for
include:

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For everyone--consumers, physicians and other health-care
providers, and government regulators--FDA has the same advice
when it comes to weeding out the hopeless from the hopeful: Be
open-minded, but don't fall into the abyss of accepting anything at all.
For there are--as there have been for centuries--countless products
that are nothing more than fraud. n

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Inquire about the training and expertise of the person administering the
treatment (for example, certification).
Consider the costs. Alternative treatments may not be reimbursable
by health insurance.
Discuss all treatments with your primary care provider, who needs
this information in order to have a complete picture of your treatment
plan.

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Obtain objective information about the therapy. Besides talking with
the person promoting the approach, speak with people who have
gone through the treatment--preferably both those who were treated
recently and those treated in the past. Ask about the advantages and
disadvantages, risks, side effects, costs, results, and over what time
span results can be expected.