How to communicate better with your doctor

How to communicate better with your doctor

One of the best ways you can take an active part in your healthcare is to have a good relationship with your doctor. That means good communication is key. But since most doctors have limited time, it helps to have a solid approach for making the most of your visits. Your doctor will be able to create a treatment plan for you once he or she has all the information up front.

Keep an updated log of your health history and bring it with you. This includes past procedures, test results, existing allergies, and all medications, vitamins and/or supplements you are taking.

Bring a list of questions with you beforehand. Set priorities for what you want to accomplish during your visit and stick to them.

Take notes. That way, you won’t ever have to worry about forgetting what your doctor said.

Take a friend along to your appointment. They may think to ask important questions you do not and can help you remember what your doctor said.

Speak up! Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to tell your doctor personal information. Tell them about any health concerns you have and talk about all of your symptoms. Your doctor can’t help you unless he or she has all the information.

Demand clarity. If you don’t understand something, ask your doctor to clarify in simpler terms. Or ask them to draw a picture If you think it might help to explain something.

Ask what you can do to maximize your health and healing. Your doctor will appreciate that you are serious about doing your part.

Ask if your doctor has email and if you can email any additional questions you may have after you leave your appointment.

If you feel rushed, ask for more time. If your doctor does not have more time to give you, ask to speak with a nurse of other health assistant. If you still feel like your answers are not being met, consider switching to find another doctor with whom you are more comfortable. Your health is what’s most important.