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Communicating With Your Doctor

Updated on September 17, 2012
Talk with your doctor
Talk with your doctor | Source

Ask Questions, Get Answers

Having good communication between you and your doctor is instrumental in getting the decent care you deserve. This is especially true if you have a ailment that requires long term care.

Oftentimes you only spend a mere 20 minutes with your doctor, and that isn't much time to discuss what is going on. That is why it is critical to have a good rapport with your doctor. Be sure to let your doctor know that what you expect as far as your treatment is concerned.

Things like understanding test results and your prognosis, share your preferences for treatment, what medications you will or will not take. Your doctor should be aware of exactly how you feel about your treatment. And attentive to that care.� It might sound good in theory, but it is not always that plain and simple.� A Doctors schedule is often extremely structured and controlled. Getting in and out to see a patient as soon as possible is more than likely the goal of your doctor.Whe your doctor enters the room Know what you want to say, and don't waste time with small chit-chat. Your purpose is to have an open dialogue with your about your condition, not small talk that wastes precious appointment time.

Some Ideas To Take With You:

Before you arrive at the doctor's office have a outline in mind.� Write everything down that you want to talk to your doctor about. If you have an illness, write down when it originated, what the symptoms are. Think of every detail you can come up with to make your appointment go much more smoothly in the doctor's office. If it takes up more than a page that is fine, you can give this to the doctor, he will read it and a discussion of your prognosis can begin.

Write down every symptom:

Think about your all your symptoms and write them down. Write down how they make you feel, don't be modest about this, disclose everything you can, it makes it a lot easier to talk to your doctor when you have all your symptoms written down.

If you are in pain, describe the pain, where and when it hurts the most. What is your level of pain? If you are grappling with allergy symptoms be sure to write down if you have pets and when your symptoms are at their worst. Explain everything in as much detail as possible.The more detailed your description the easier it is for your doctor to use what you interpret to him.

Make a list of all your medications:

If you are taking medications, make a complete list to show your doctor. Be sure to include ALL the medications you are taking. This includes all over the counter medications you are taking. If your doctor has to prescribe any medications, he will know what may interact with what you are already taking.

Ask for copies:

Ask for copies of test results such as cholesterol readings, diabetes, thyroid and other tests that you may have had and need to understand the results better. With copies of your test results you will have a concept of any changes you need to make. The nurses should not have a problem giving you copies of your test results, it is just one more way for you to stay connected to your doctor, and remain knowledgable about your treatment and care.


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    • crazybeanrider profile imageAUTHOR

      Boo McCourt 

      8 years ago from Washington MI

      Yes the very same thing happened to my mother. She takes a thyroid medication, and the generic does not agree with her, and often the doctor does not realize until you tell them what works and what does not. I find most doctors appreciate questions and communication. I had one doctor who just didn't want to hear what I thought. So I got rid of him pretty quickly. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • crazybeanrider profile imageAUTHOR

      Boo McCourt 

      8 years ago from Washington MI

      Thank you dinkan53, I appreciate the vote up. I think people just automatically trust everything their doctor says and does. We need not fear them, we need to learn to be on the same page as our doctor's.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      8 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Communication is important when it comes to health care. A breach in communication can mean that you end up with the wrong medication. I have to take brand name prescriptions rather than generic. One time, the nurse called in the prescription instead of the doctor, and I ended up with generic and didn't know it until I got home. Thankfully, there was a foil seal on the bottle, and I was able to return them.

    • dinkan53 profile image


      8 years ago from India

      Good communication with your doctor will help to lower your worries and fear and get great care. Great work and really an useful one. Voted up and useful.

    • crazybeanrider profile imageAUTHOR

      Boo McCourt 

      8 years ago from Washington MI

      Thank you ChitrangadaSharan for reading and taking the time to comment. I wrote the hub because I have learned the hard way that not sharing and asking questions can lead to poor health care.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Nice hub. You are right, having good communication with the doctor, on every aspect is very essential. It is good to make a file/ record, date wise, of every visit you make to the doctor. This should include all prescriptions, test reports, diagnosis etc. Makes it easy for both the doctor and the patient, in their future meetings.

      Thanks for sharing this useful hub.


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