Quick Tips for Talking to Your Doctor

By: Sondra Burger

Sondra BurgerThe way you talk to your doctor may be as important as anything you say. To make the most of your appointment, follow these expert recommended tips for better doctor-patient communication.

  1. Always be on time for your appointment. Doctors schedule about 10-15 minutes per patient. If you’re late, your face time with the doctor decreases dramatically.
  2. Make a list of your concerns and questions. Tell the doctor to put the list in you file for future reference, but also keep a copy for yourself. You won’t forget what you wanted to discuss and it helps the doctor better understand your concerns and conditions. This leads to better medical care for you.
  3. Be detailed and specific. If you have stomach pain, be ready to pinpoint where it is, how severe it is on a scale of 1-10, how often if happen and what makes it better or worse.
  4. Insist on understanding. Don’t be afraid to interrupt and say you don’t understand what the doctor is telling you. Ask him to explain in everyday terms.
  5. Take notes or bring a friend to take notes for you to record the events of your appointment.
  6. Ask the doctor to write down his instructions so you don’t forget about your medication regime or treatment recommendations.
  7. Take information home with you. A brochure, written instructions or other educational material helps you remember you recommended treatments.
  8. Do say THANK YOU from time to time.

Remember, your relationship with your doctor works two ways. So take an active role in your health care to get the best possible care from your doctor.