Become your doctor’s favorite patient
You may only see your doctor once or twice a year, but it’s still important to have a good relationship with him or her. The more comfortable you feel with your physician, the likelier you’ll be to open up and describe what’s really going on with your health. And the better you communicate, the likelier you’ll be to understand your treatment plan and follow it. Here are some things you can do to make sure you’re greeted with a smile every time you go in for a visit.
- Give all the information. It’s no good to go in and only tell your doctor half of your symptoms. Lay it all on the table—even the things that don’t seem related or that are embarrassing. You don’t know when something may clue the doctor in on what’s really going on.
- Follow directions. If a doctor tells you do certain things between one appointment and the next, do them! Otherwise you’re wasting everyone’s time and risking your own health.
- Don’t worry about being offensive. Doctors want you to be honest and admit if you aren’t seeing improvements or following their instructions. If you have concerns, be up front and explain what they are.
- Don’t stop taking medicine because you feel better. Certain medications need to be taken even after you think you’ve recovered or they won’t work correctly. If you aren’t sure, just give your doctor a call and ask.
- Try not to switch between doctors too often. Obviously you’re going to want to find one you like, but it takes years to develop a good relationship, so try to stick to one if you can. That way a doctor can identify worrisome symptoms that a new doctor may not pick up on.
Photo credit: Walt Stoneburner