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Over the past decade, the patient’s role has evolved from being the object of care to now being a partner in their care. Patients are thus expected to learn enough about their own health to be able to participate in health care decisions. Under these conditions, patient education is increasingly becoming one of the most important aspects of health care. Studies have shown that patients increasingly desire more information concerning their symptoms and condition. Providing reliable, up to date information improves patient’s awareness of treatment goals increases and compliance with treatment. Patients can also be taught the importance of prevention, early treatment and overall health maintenance. They will hopefully recognize lifestyle factors that may becontributing to their health problems, and learn when to seek medical attention, rather than delay medical care. Ultimately this creates a higher level of patient and physician satisfaction. This patient education section was created by Great Lakes Heart Center of Alpena for use by patients, their families and caregivers. We believe that information will place patients and their caregivers in a better position to participate in their care, and allow discussions between caregiver and consumer to proceed from a similar base of conceptual knowledge. We have taken pains to make these topics readily understandable while avoiding oversimplification. The provided materials cannot substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. You should always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions regarding your health or medical conditions. You should never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on this site.