Sometimes, it can take a while to find a physician you get along with, one you feel listens and pays attention to you. Once you’ve found that doctor, it’s best you do everything you can to maintain and strengthen that doctor-patient connection so your doctor enjoys you just as much as you do her or him. Here are some steps to be sure you put to good use and create a better relationship.
Make Sure You’re Well-Prepared for Your Appointments
The keyword in “physical exam” is “exam.” And just like an exam, you want to make sure you’re prepared to see your doctor. In addition to arriving before your scheduled appointment time, you should also write down any medications or supplements you’re currently taking and share them with your doctor. If you’ve recently had a flu shot, started a new diet or anything similar, share that with your doctor as well.
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Write Down Your Questions
Maybe you have a few health-related questions you’d like to ask a healthcare professional. Sure, you can always turn to the internet, but that’s no solid guarantee the information you’ll uncover is factual or the most recent. Keep your apprehension at bay and improve your peace of mind by getting answers from someone who completed several years of medical school and deals with questions like yours for a living rather than as a weekend hobby.
If you like, you can hand your questions over to a medical assistant before your appointment. That way, she or he can note them on your chart and your doctor has an idea of your inquiries beforehand.
Chart Your Health Issues
If there’s a specific health complication or concern that brought you to your doctor’s office, it’s a good idea to keep track of flare-ups. For instance, write down the date of your problem, how long it lasted and if you think there’s a specific trigger for the issue. Note your specific symptoms and if there’s anything you’ve been doing to treat them. This wealth of information can help your doctor narrow down what’s going on with you and how to provide you with some much-needed relief.
Get Your Priorities in Order
When there’s more than one reason for you to see your physician, start with the one that’s causing you the most concern. For those times when you have a laundry list health concerns, start the appointment off by letting your doctor know how many issues you’d like to discuss and asking which you should start with first. There’s a chance you may need to schedule a second appointment to fully discuss everything, which is better than feeling rushed and receiving substandard care.
Make Your Concerns Known
Besides letting your physician know about your health problems, you should also share any concerns or fears you have about your issue. For instance, are you worried you may need surgery to treat your back pain? Or maybe you’re afraid you won’t be able to work with an ongoing injury. Could your gastrointestinal issues be the root cause of your depression or anxiety? Whatever it is, let your doctor in on what you’re afraid of. Your willingness to be vulnerable can let your healthcare provider help put your fears to rest and gain much-needed clarity.
Refrain From Diagnosing Yourself
Getting healthcare answers online can be risky. You may also receive a diagnosis from an online site that is incorrect or even dangerous. Offering up a final diagnosis is up to your doctor, not a site that may offer incorrect and harmful information. It’s best you share your symptoms rather than a diagnosis you can’t confirm on your own.
These tips make it easier for your doctor to regard you as a favorite patient. Be sure to keep them in mind the next time you see your physician.