I Just Don’t Understand! Increasing Your Health Literacy

July 28, 2018

Do you sometimes feel confused by what your doctor says or have difficulty understanding the directions on a prescription label?  You are not alone.  Approximately 77 million people have basic or below basic health literacy (https://health.gov) and even the podcast interviewee herself, Dr. Ashwini admits, “As a physician [I am health literate] maybe most of the time”. To explain complex concepts to her patients she draws images on the examination table paper and urges others to use visuals to increase comprehension. Given the gap between the health information we receive and our ability to understand and apply it to our own health care, Dr. Ashwini suggests that we “Ask what you don’t understand…it’s your right to know”. She addresses added challenges to health literacy due to language barriers and the growing job market for medical interpreters.

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