1. Bring Support
Dr. Oz says this is the most important thing you can do when you're getting a diagnosis from a doctor. "I'm not talking just about to be someone you love, because you don't want to be consoling them when you get the diagnosis," he says. "You need someone to help you."

2. Don't Forget to Breathe
This is a good way to both deal with the stress of the situation and remind yourself that you will keep going, Dr. Oz says.

3. Find a Health Advocate
"You've got to get someone there who's going to fight for you tirelessly," Dr. Oz says.

How are you going to chose your health advocate?

4. Get a Second Opinion
Taking this simple step results in a different diagnosis for more than one in three patients. When visiting the second doctor, keep some information to yourself. "Don't tell the second doctor what the first doctor said. Let them wander upon the diagnosis by themselves," Dr. Oz says. "Get folks to offer different opinions, and you'll get a whole new perspective."

5. Become an Expert on Your Illness
"Read, write, ask questions," Dr. Oz says. "Create a game plan, and then act on it so you become knowledgeable."

8 ways to be a smarter patient

Montel Williams on life after his MS diagnosis

How Magic Johnson, Fran Drescher and Scott Hamilton survived serious illnesses
FROM: Dr. Oz: After the Diagnosis with Montel Williams
Published on March 17, 2009


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