I was reading a cancer message board about things the poster had learned that her doctor hadn't told her. I don't know where the gaps in communication are but there always seem to be some in the medical world. I don't think any of the gaps are intentional but they always seem to be there. I think doctors and nurses see dozens of patients each day and if that was me, I would have a hard time remembering to tell everyone everything I needed to say. I would be constantly asking 'did I already tell you that?'. Its human not to remembering everything.
But I have learned that it is important to ask questions, question things that seem confusing, and do your own research. And write things down if you can't remember them (my biggest problem). I can't tell you how many times I have been taking a medication as I thought was correct to find out that I was doing something wrong. I have medications that can't be taken with anything else or can't be taken within an hour of food or four hours of vitamins. Its complicated. But my doctors have only given me details on taking them when I have asked specifically. I have actually gone through my list of what I take with what and when (its kind of complicated actually) to make sure its okay.
I have also learned that when I am scheduled for another medical 'adventure' I need to ask a whole list of questions - not the printed procedure information that they give me - about how long it will take, can I drive home, what are pain expectations. Also, what about the results - when to expect them, what we will learn from them, etc.
Finally I have learned to be proactive about my care. I ask if I really need tests or adventures. I try to consolidate appointments so I can minimize trips to the hospital. I ask for things to be scheduled for my convenience, not theirs. Its all about me and not about them.