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MD247 Tips for Talking to Doctors
MD247 understands that talking to doctors can sometimes be frustrating and leave you feeling confused. Because doctors all share some common traits, a few simple adjustments to your communication style can help you achieve a much larger benefit from your chat with a doctor.
Always Organize Your Questions
It is an unfortunate reality that doctors are typically very busy. This doesn't that the doctor doesn’t care about you, or that they will refuse to answer questions, but it does mean that they respond very well to clear, organized discussions. To get the most of the talk with a doctor, try to:
- Write down questions you have and bring them with you
- Wait to ask questions until natural breaks in the conversation
- Understand that asking questions is different than providing information - try to keep these two activities separate
Know the Plan and Stick to the Plan
Your doctor invests a lot of time, energy, and concern into developing a treatment plan . Likewise, you should understand what that plan is, and be able to provide relevant information. Taking an active part in your healthcare shows your doctor that you care about your stake in your health and respect his hard work. As with all personal interactions, people will react with more patience and understanding if they feel valued and respected. Always keep track of:
- The names and doses of your medications
- The goals for each visit
- Any changes to the treatment plan
Ask Direct Questions
Because the volume of information exchanged during a visit to the doctor is so large, it’s easy to forget that questions work the best when they are direct and specific. Try to ask exactly what you want to know. When talking to doctors it is usually very effective to use their words when asking questions. If you're confused by a particular phrase, repeat it back to the doctor and ask him to explain that phrase again.
Explain How You Feel
If you feel like your doctor is rushing you, or is being disrespectful of your need for clarification, tell him. Remember, most doctors decided to study medicine because they genuinely want to help people. When doctors are directly and respectfully confronted with the fact that they are making you feel rushed, overwhelmed, or confused, they will almost always slow down and try harder to help you understand what they're trying to say. In turn, you should treat your doctor with the same level of courtesy and respect that you expect in return.
Tell the Truth
Everyone lies to their doctor at some point. Though the reasons that patients lie are complicated, it is an inescapable fact that your doctor can only do his job if he has the right information. It can sometimes be difficult and embarrassing to tell the truth, but your doctor will be happy with your honesty, and will be better able to help you.
Posted by: Michelle Germann
Created on: Mon 09 April 2012 17:11
Last modified: Thu 18 October 2012 08:52