Are you comfortable with your doctor? Do you know how to communicate with your health care providers? It is important to have a good relationship with your medical providers to achieve the best health outcomes.
These tips may help you and your doctor improve your healthcare.
Talk to your doctor
Tell your doctor about any current and past health care issues or concerns. It’s important to share any information you can, even if it is embarrassing.
Give your doctor the following information during your next appointment:
- Share new or unusual symptoms you are experiencing.
- Your health history. Keep a “health journal” and bring it to your appointments.
- Inform your doctor about any life-altering circumstances that’s causing you stress (toxic relationships, loss of a loved one or friend, job loss, etc.)
- Provide list of medicines and supplements you’re taking to make sure you’re are taking proper dosages and that combinations are not harmful to your health. Report side effects immediately, especially if it makes you feel sick or causes an allergic reaction.
- Take any X-rays, tests results, or medical records you have from other doctors to review.
Speak up. It’s important to let your doctor know if you don’t understand something. Otherwise, your doctor will think you understand everything he or she has told you.
Tell your doctor when you need more time to talk about something. If the doctor isn’t available to help, speak to your doctor’s nurse or assistant. If no one is available, ask to schedule another appointment to continue your talk.
Make the most of appointments by using a variety of methods to help you remember instructions, such as:
- Bringing a friend or family member so they can remind you of concerns you have and help write down the answers to your questions.
- Use a tape recording. Ask your doctor if it’s okay to bring a tape recorder to the appointment.
- Request brochures or other educational materials.
Follow up with your doctor
Most importantly, make sure to follow any instructions your doctor gave you during the appointment, like taking medicine, scheduling a test or scheduling an appointment with a specialist. If you’re confused or if you’ve forgotten some information, it’s ok to contact your doctor’s office again.
Source: NIH, National Institutes of Health