Building a good relationship with your doctor is important. While meeting with a physician can be overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with medical jargon. But we all need the help of a health practitioner at some point. Here are some tips to help you make these visits as positive as possible.
1. Prepare for the appointment to speed things up
Before you attend the appointment, make sure you prepare for it. This includes bringing any documentation or medicine that you’re currently taking. A comprehensive medical history including family and surgical history, allergies, immunizations, and tests. As well as having a general idea of what you’re going to communicate to your physician will be most helpful.
This is even more important when this is the first visit with your physician. Try to be clear about any symptoms you may be having, or what you expect from your physician. Write things down so you won’t forget to ask them. Be on time, or better yet, a few minutes early if this is a first visit. This will give you some time to fill out any forms the office may need.
Use this handy checklist to make sure you’re well prepared for your appointment and have a list of questions to ask.
2. Be honest when your physician asks you questions
It’s vital that you put your trust in your physician by answering their questions truthfully. Questions about lifestyle and alternative medicine and herbal supplements will need to be answered truthfully. The same is true for mental health issues and sexual and reproductive related questions. This will greatly speed things up and also help you build a better relationship with your doctor.
Your doctor will not be able to prescribe the correct treatment, if he does not know what it is that is making you feel sick. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you do not understand something your doctor is saying.
3. Communicate clearly and concisely with your physician
It’s a good idea to practice communicating clearly and concisely with your physician so that you can easily get your point across. This will also help your appointment go smoothly. Remember, your doctor is busy and will be seeing many patients during a day. You may have to remind him about your previous visit and what you discussed there. Your time is valuable, and so is your doctor’s time.
Be sure to keep visits to a minimum unless ongoing treatment and followup is needed. You do not have to see your doctor as soon as you have a cold. Educate your self in when and where to seek medical advise and when you can just sick it out.
4. Follow the advice of your physician
Lastly, make sure you actually follow the advice set by your doctor. This will show them that you’re actually listening and that you care about the advice that they’re giving you. If, for what ever reason, you do not feel comfortable with your doctor, you may want to consider a different one. We all have unique personalities and not everyone gets along with everyone. Building a good relationship with your doctor can be a livelong commitment, thus it is important to “like” yours.
Below, we’ve added an informative infographic that shows more about how the relationship between you and your doctor will likely change for the better in the future.
Infographic from: University of Southern California
Hopefully you have found this information helpful and will get you well on the way to build a better relationship with your physician.
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