As a physician, I can’t emphasize enough, the importance of good communication between a patient and their doctor! The National Institutes of Health has a great article titled “Talking to Your Doctor”, that offers great advice and resources which help individuals to take a more active role in their healthcare by communicating more effectively with their provider. Open communication will assist the both of you in making smarter decisions about your health and the care required. It’s imperative that you always speak open and honestly with your healthcare provider. During your appointment, ask questions important to you and make sure that you clearly understand your diagnosis, treatment and recovery!
As shared in the article, below are a few tips that can help you talk with your healthcare provider to make the most of your appointment:
- Write down a list of questions and concerns before your appointment.
- Consider bringing a close friend or family member with you.
- Take notes about what the doctor says, or ask a friend or family member to take notes for you.
- Learn how to access your medical records, so you can keep track of test results, diagnoses, treatments plans, and medications and prepare for your next appointment.
- Ask for the doctor’s contact information and their preferred method of communication.
- Remember that nurses and pharmacists are also good sources of information.
Take a few minutes to peruse the numerous NIH resources referenced in the article that will assist YOU to better communicate with your healthcare provider. Ultimately, this will help YOU to be the best advocate for your own health … and guide you to making optimal healthcare decisions for YOU!