Sure, I'll play.
Can you give a brief description/overview about your cultural/religious background and your beliefs/practices? (i.e. what you feel are the most important things to share with me in the context of this topic)
I am a Jewish woman from the Northeast. I'm not terribly religious although I was raised in a kosher home - but I don't practice that now. I have a BA and a JD and am getting my MA. I'm married, no kids. I am in my 50s.
Can you describe your health beliefs and attitudes towards health care?
I'm not really sure what you're asking here. I get regular checkups and try to follow my doctor's advice. I take medications if prescribed. When I'm ill, I will try to self-treat unless it's really obvious that it's above my skill level.
Describe an injury or illness that you or a close family member has had:
→Explain your thoughts about the origin of the condition/injury, why do you think you got sick?
→What were the greatest problems the illness caused you?
→How did you expect the illness to progress, what did you think the consequences of the illness would be?
→What kind of treatments did you think were appropriate and what did you hope to gain from treatment?
→What actions did you take to bring about a change in your health condition?
→Did you feel that your health care provider was attentive to your thoughts and beliefs about your condition? Did they take into account your own opinions about your illness or the treatment that you felt you needed?
--> Did the treatment and care you received match up to what you expected?
I've got close family members who've had cancer. Skin cancers have come from being out in the sun without protection. Lung cancers have come from smoking. Other cancers have been more likely to have come from genetics but a lot of that isn't fully understood yet by the scientific community.
Problems have varied. When my grandmother had breast cancer, the only treatment option was a mastectomy. She actually survived and died of something else (probably cardiac). Skin cancers, it seems, are removed pretty quickly. Others have required chemotherapy. I have gone over to help out if needed. Chemo brain is very real and so is the weakness and fatigue that comes from it; I like to try and help out.
These illnesses can be frightening - cancer is a scary word. But you get through it enough times and a lot of strains of it are turning out to be fairly manageable, more like a chronic illness, but only if the chemo or radiation, etc. is working.
My own changes were to, for example, wear sunscreen every day. I don't smoke so that was never an issue.
Most health care providers have been great, and attentive. But understand that I come from a background of private health insurance, and live in an area where doctors are plentiful. I feel care has been as good as it can be.
Can you discuss your experiences with the healthcare system in the United States?
→have you ever encountered bias?
→any barriers to quality care?
→were the practitioners that you dealt with sensitive to your individual needs and your individual health care beliefs and preferences?
→did you feel as if you were treated respectfully?
→was there anything that you would have liked your provider to have done differently?
→ any recommendations or advice on how health care practitioners can provide you with more quality healthcare based upon previous experiences you have had?
I don't think I've countered too much bias but as a white woman who can pay my bills, perhaps it's there and I'm not seeing it.
Barriers to quality care are mainly what insurance will cover or how far I or anyone else wants to travel.
I feel health care professionals have been sensitive and respectful. I'm not so sure what they could have done differently.
The main thing I would recommend to healthcare professionals is to provide more information online, securely. My current doctor is good about this but I don't get this from my dentist or ophthalmologist. Reiterating instructions online would be helpful, as would even something as simple as appointment reminders (hell, my hairdresser reminds me of appointments online. Why the hell can't my dentist?).