Sisters, Stay Alive & Informed!

Officially join my family and receive information, insight and inspiration on living a healthy, happy and prosperous life.

    I am not a robot

    Our Privacy Policy

    Better Health Through Better Understanding

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | April 2nd, 2023

    Better Health Through Better Understanding

    Someone told me that because of Sincerely, Your Gynecologist, she has decided to have her son get the human papillomavirus (HPV). Before reading the book, she did not think her son needed the HPV vaccine because he was not sexually active. After reading the book, she learned the best time to get the vaccine is before you are sexually active. She also learned that the vaccine prevents cancer caused by HPV, like oral, anal, or penile cancer. She thanked me for writing Sincerely, Your Gynecologist.

    Health literacy is finding, understanding, and using health information or services to improve health. By reading the book, she was able to find information about the HPV vaccine, understand the importance of the vaccine, and decide to have her son get the vaccine.  

    April is National Minority Health Month, and this year’s theme is Better Health Through Better Understanding. By increasing health literacy, one can be empowered to create healthier outcomes. It is estimated that only 14 percent of the U.S. population have proficient health literacy, and nearly 20 percent of people in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home. Communication with your health provider is essential to getting good health care.

    So what do you need to do?

    1. Be prepared when you interact with your healthcare provider – Why are you coming to the visit? What are your symptoms? How long have you had your symptoms? What makes it better, and what makes it worse?
    2. Know the first day of your last menstrual period.
    3. Bring a list of all medications, herbs, and any over-the-counter medication you are taking.
    4. Consider bringing a trusted friend or family member if it is challenging to understand what your provider tells you. If you do not have anyone, you can ask for the conversation to be recorded.
    5. Sign up with the patient portal so you can have access to your chart. You can now read the information to ensure the provider fully understands what you said.
    6. Find out when to expect your results.
    7. Schedule your next appointment when leaving the office, even if the next appointment is in one year.
    8. Never be embarrassed to ask questions. Clearly understanding your diagnosis and what you need to do. You can ask for a different way to explain the information. You can ask for an interpreter if you prefer to get information other than English.
    9. Set goals of what is expected. For example, what is the blood pressure goal if you are given medication for high blood pressure?
    10. You can always ask your provider to provide additional information.

    As a health care provider, Better Health Through Better Understanding is a reminder that I should make sure that I do everything to make sure that I am providing information that is understandable so health care decisions can be made. I am grateful that Sincerely, Your Gynecologist is a resource for those seeking information on women’s health.

    Leave a Reply

    Secure Your Copy of Sincerely, Your Gynecologist by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.

    With her trademark wit and straightforward communication, Dr. Osuagwu continues to dole out valuable medical advice using the letter form and addressing women’s health conditions and issues in a method that was praised for its innovative approach in her earlier award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist. In this book, each letter is paired with reference sources and statistics about the condition that is the subject of the letter.

    Click here to Buy Now on Amazon

    Secure Your Copy of Letters to My Sisters by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.

    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.

    Ready to Commit to Living a Healthier Life, Start Here with…

    Dr Ngozi’s 30 Day Alive & Healthy Challenge

    Get 30 days of insight and inspiration on creating and sustaining a healthy lifestyle straight from the
    doctor. Share this valuable resource with your mother, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, cousins
    and girlfriends. Do it solo, or in a group. Simply do it! Join our mailing list and get instant access to this life-saving resource now!