Being Your Own Health Advocate

By Richard Asa @RickAsa
September 15, 2016

You should ask your healthcare providers questions and review your medical records.

A scan of Steven Keating’s brain found a slight abnormality. He was told it was nothing to worry about, but that it should be monitored.

He took that upon himself, reading and studying brain structure and function. He received a follow up scan in 2010, five years after the abnormality was found, that showed nothing unusual either. 

But from his own research he knew the abnormality was near his olfactory center. When he started smelling vinegar in 2014 he thought he might be having “smell seizures.”

Keating urged his doctors to do an MRI of his brain – they hadn’t suggested it themselves – and, a few weeks later, surgeons in Boston removed a cancerous tumor the size of a tennis ball, 

By that point Keating, a 26-year-old doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, had collected an estimated 70 gigabytes of his patient data, he told The New York Times

His doctors and medical experts now view him as a citizen of the future, someone who in this age of high deductibles and health saving accounts took control of his own medical information and became his own best ...

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September 15, 2016

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell, RN