5 Tips for Developing a Healthy Relationship With Your Doctor
posted by Lehi Willowcreek Family Medicine | May 23, 2016
Speak up if you don’t understand your doctor.
Ask for the information to be repeated until you do understand.
Take notes or bring a companion to help you retain the information.
Be honest with your physician, even about potentially embarrassing things like how many alcoholic drinks you have in a day or occasionally skipping your medications. Your doctor needs accurate information to provide you with the best possible care, so be candid.
Ask your doctor about preferred method of contact between appointments. Does he or she prefer email, voicemail or that you leave a message with a nurse?
Keep your primary care physician in the loop whenever you see a new specialist or seek care in an emergency situation. Although EHRs often automatically convey this information, it’s a good policy to always request that a record of recent care be sent to your family doctor.
Share your goals with your doctor to better help customize your treatment plan. Ask, “What steps can I take on a weekly and monthly basis to reach my goals?”
Make decisions together. If you’re facing more than one possible diagnosis, ask your doctor what the best course of action is to rule out the various alternatives. Based on his or her experience with other patients, what can you expect moving forward? Is there a treatment choice that has the best success rate? What would he or she advise a loved one to do?
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.