Don’t feel like your doctor is listening? Here are a few tips to make communication with your doctor more productive and beneficial.
Most doctors only have 10-15 minutes to spend with you during the office visit. So, you need to be prepared before your scheduled appointment.
Before you see your doctor, you need to:
- Make a list of questions and /or concerns you have, putting them in order of most important first.
- Keep notes on your symptoms, when they started, is there any thing that makes the symptoms better (rest, ibuprofen, acetaminophen), and how long you have had the symptoms.
- Have a summary of your medical history with you, including other physicians that you see or have seen, procedures, tests, surgeries as well as a current and complete list of your medications and supplements.
As a patient it is important that you keep an accurate and update record of your medical history. Your medical history helps doctors accurately diagnose and prescribe the best treatment and care plan for you.
During the office visit:
- You can take notes as the doctor talks, ask a friend or loved one to take notes for you, or you may ask the doctor if you can record the visit so that you can review what was said when you get home.
- If you don’t understand what the doctor is saying, ask the doctor for clarification. Doctors and other medical professionals will use “medical speak”, and someone not in the healthcare profession may not completely understand the terminology.
- Stay focused during the appointment, make sure you tell the doctor your top concerns and get your questions answered. You need to communicate these with your doctor so they can address them.
- If your questions have not been answered, let the doctor know. You can ask to make another appointment to address these concerns or ask if they can extend this appointment so that you feel like your questions and concerns have been heard and addressed.
- Clarify treatment goals and side effects. You may ask if there is another alternative to what they are prescribing.
Before you leave the doctor’s, office determine what is the best way to communicate with the doctor going forward. Is it best to contact his/ her nurse, email the doctor or his /her staff or leave a message with the front office personnel.
If you need assistance with getting ready for your doctor appointments, or would like someone to attend the appointment with you, the Patient Advocate Agency is here to help you get the most out of your doctor appointments and get the care you deserve.
Call us or a free phone consultation today! 760-567-3744