Talking With Your Doctor

/ December 1st, 2010/ Posted in Health / Comments Off on Talking With Your Doctor

Do you feel rushed when you see your physician? Do you find that you sometimes forget to discuss all your concerns or symptoms? Are you confused by unfamiliar medical terms? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Many people have trouble talking with their physicians. The following tips can help you deal more effectively with your doctor and help your doctor understand your medical concerns. The more your doctor learns about you and how you feel- the better he/she will be able to help you.

Be Prepared: Write It Down

Make a list of the things you’d like to discuss with your doctor, such as, “I’ve had a bad cough for the past two weeks” then add your observation; “I haven’t had a fever.” Check off each item on your list, that way you’ll know you’ve covered everything. If you think you might forget to mention your concerns take a friend or loved one. Your partner, son or daughter observes and notes changes in your health that you may not.

Take notes during your office visit. This may help you remember your doctor’s instructions and advise when you get home. Most physicians will give you written discharge instructions-if yours doesn’t – don’t be shy ask for them.

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You’re The Customer

If you feel intimidated by your physician’s status as a medical authority, remember that your doctor is your paid medical consultant, and you are the customer. You are paying for your physician’s time and expertise, so don’t allow yourself to be rushed or interrupted. Remember this is your body and mind that is at issue!

Ask For Explanations

Ask your doctor to explain medical terms, diagnosis or treatment in simple language that you understand. If you don’t understand it the first time, don’t be embarrassed-ask to have it explained again.

Nobody Does It Better

And don’t forget that in most cases, you are the best source of information about your condition. If you don’t know what exactly is happening-you’ve lived with your body for years- when something is not quite right say so! Your doctor can help you most, after hearing all your questions and concerns.

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