Why My Health Counts My Health Counts TV & Media You & Your Health You & Your Doctor You & Quality Healthcare

Personal Health Stories




Learn valuable information from the people featured in Partnering with Your Doctor:


To see personal stories from other My Health Counts! programs, choose here:



From Partnering with Your Doctor

Judith's Story


“In 1990 I was diagnosed with Lupus. I was smart, saw a doctor regularly, had good insurance, but still I struggled to get the health care I needed. Soon, I was in a wheelchair, uncertain if I would or even could walk again. Then I realized It’s up to me. . . I needed to take ownership of my health. I needed to take the lead, question what to expect, educate myself and develop a partnership with my doctor.”


Getting peace of mind about health care begins largely with finding the right doctor - one who values relationships based on openness and trust and provides high quality care.


“Mention everything that is a concern or question. Everything is important. My advice… know your family history, get screened, establish a good relationship with your doctor.”


For more information about partnering with your doctor, like Judith did, click here.

To watch Judith's story, click here.


Ken's Story


“While traveling on business I became very ill. I called my doctor and he told me to go to the emergency room. He suspected diabetes because of my family history. Tests confirmed his suspicion. I needed to learn to live with diabetes. It’s definitely hard but it’s not rocket science. When I eat right and test myself four times a day, I feel good.”


Quality health care happens when people take an active role in their own care, becoming partners with their doctor to create a more effective, trusting relationship that helps them stay healthy or determine the right care when they need it.


“My doctor is my coach. I trust him with my life! We talk about goals. He pushes me when the numbers aren’t so good and celebrates with me when they’re good. We’re working right now to get my weight down, getting my cholesterol down. I’m trying but it’s a challenge.”


For more information about partnering with your doctor, like Ken did, click here.

To watch Ken's story, click here.


Lori's Story


“Right now I have degenerative disc disease. It’s been going on for about a year but probably goes back to a car accident in 2001, where I was injured enough that I ended up retiring early from my career in nursing. It was very hard because I had to stop doing a lot of things that I used to do.”


“The orthopedic doctor told me that I would probably have to have spinal surgery if it got worse and if the pain was too hard. So then I started coming to Dr. Ziegler for acupuncture to see if I could relieve some of the symptoms and put off this suggested surgery, because the spinal fusion they want to do, it breaks down above and below it. “


Quality health care happens when people take an active role in their own care, becoming partners with their doctor to create a more effective, trusting relationship that helps them stay healthy or determine the right care when they need it.

“I've chosen my doctors very carefully. Dr. Ziegler is really good. She listens. I'm very particular. I want somebody that's going to listen. I always have a list of questions, have you seen this, have you heard this, do you think this would work, uh, what are your views on this.”


“If you find somebody that doesn't listen and you're not comfortable, then you need to research and find somebody that you are comfortable with, because this is your health. You need to take charge. Unless you’re specific about what you want, you’re not going to get it.”


For more information on finding the right doctor, like Lori did, click here.

To watch Lori's story, click here.


Future Doctors Story


Today, medical schools across the country are showing future doctors how they can make improvements in caring for patients, so that people receive better care and have closer relationships with their doctors.


“We're lucky to have a very active clinical competency center where we teach students to interview patients and examine them, right from day one of their medical school education”, says Dr. Andrew Symons, the Vice Chair for Predoctoral Education at The University at Buffalo.


“The first time you see a patient, you're so nervous,” recalled Lynn Yen a fourth year Medical student. “It really takes that full four years for you to realize that it's that communication part, that part when you sit down and you're face to face with somebody else who's going through a struggle and you are there to be a support system, and to help guide them through that struggle.”

“I think the realization was probably over the past two decades that those first two preclinical years need to have patient contact right from the beginning, so we introduce them to patient contact from the first week.”


“We have a very active clinical competency center - it looks just like an exam room. Cameras are used for viewing the sessions and students are instantaneously evaluated. We train people from the community to portray patients with a medical complaint. These standardized patients help the students practice. It’s very helpful for a student to be able to get immediate feedback on their performance.”


“Patients enjoy knowing that the future generations of doctors are being trained to communicate better.”

Today's doctors are learning how to be better healthcare partners.

To learn how you can better partner with your doctor, click here.

Interested in learning more about medicine without enrolling in med-school? Check out UB's Mini-Medical School

For more information about UB's School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, click here.

To watch the Future Doctors story, click here.

The MY Health Counts! Initiative is Presented By:
Major Funding By:
Foundation Support Provided By:
Additional Support Provided By:

Disclaimer: Information provided on the My Health Counts! pages of ThinkBright.org is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on these pages is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional.