As patients, we need a doctor that gives and receives trust. Part of having a great relationship with them includes communicating our medical concerns effectively. 

Of course, if your doctor isn’t sympathetic to what you’re going through or shows no concern, they may not be the best fit for you. 

If you’re happy with the doctor you’ve chosen and want to further strengthen your relationship, read on. 

1. Familiarize Them With Your Health History

Help your doctor get to know you better by being honest about your medical history. They won’t be able to address an issue they’re unaware of. 

If you’ve recently switched doctors, get them up to speed with your medical records and family health history. The information you share with your physician is confidential, so don’t be afraid to be honest. 

Has something changed since your last visit? Tell them! Do you often forget to take your prescribed medication? These are all things they need to know. 

Many clinics use electronic medical records to keep track of important patient data. If this happens to be the case, ask your previous clinic to transfer over these documents. 

2. Come Prepared to Appointments 

Take a few minutes the day before to prepare for your appointment. You don’t want to forget anything. There is a possibility you can message your questions or concerns ahead of time through a patient portal. 

Some common questions you should consider are:

  • Have I been experiencing any new symptoms?
  • Is my prescribed treatment affecting my daily life?
  • Am I experiencing side effects from the medication I’m on?

If you’re having symptoms or if your treatment is affecting your daily life, write down your concerns. This will ensure you don’t blank when your doctor asks you how everything’s been going.  

3. Keep Communication Open, Honest, and Clear

Don’t assume your doctor knows what’s going on. Clear communication creates greater patient satisfaction and a healthy relationship with your doctor.  

Ask about their preferred method of contact between appointments. Keep them in the loop and make decisions together! 

If you’re seeing a new specialist or seeking care in an emergency situation, ask your doctor for the best course of action on your diagnosis. Remember that listening is a major part of communicating effectively. If you’re not understanding the main points, ask them to clarify. 

Keeping communication open is vital to a successful relationship. 

4. Ask the Right Questions 

There are no wrong questions when speaking with your doctor. However, you want to be sure you’re asking the right questions. Be honest about your concerns and ask questions when needed. 

If you’re going in for a checkup, consider asking the following questions: 

  • What can I expect from the test being done?
  • Are there any side effects or dangers I need to be aware of? 
  • How long will it take to get the results? 

A patient that asks questions and is honest about their concerns will better help the physician understand and help them.  

If you’re not understanding something, or don’t know the meaning of a word they said, ask! If you don’t understand medication or home care instructions, ask for clarification. 

Strengthening The Doctor-Patient Relationship

Being your healthiest self is a team effort. You can’t expect the best care if you’re not doing your part. This means you need to keep your doctor updated with medical history, communicate concerns with them, and ask the right questions. 

This is your health, and it’s important that you understand how to take care of it. Keep these tips in mind to make the best out of an appointment and strengthen the relationship you have with your doctor.

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