Certainly, your doctor impacts your health, as he/she works with you to identify and treat your ailments. Additionally, your doctor can lead you towards a healthier lifestyle. Needless to say, the quality of your appointments can impact your health care. But how can you have a great relationship with your doctor and get the best care? Follow our 10 tips for a better medical appointment.
Why is it important to follow our tips for better medical appointments?
For starters, doctors are increasingly stressed and squeezed for time. For instance, insurance billing and overhead expenses require many doctors to spend only 15-20 minutes with each patient. Unfortunately, this is often not enough time for patients with complicated medical histories or who present with tricky symptoms. For more information, read Doctors’ Stress Impacts Patients.
Additionally, the type of relationship you have with your doctor can directly affect the care you receive. As with any relationship, a strained doctor-patient relationship can lead to frustration and misunderstandings.
Importantly, communicating effectively communicate with your doctors helps you make more appropriate medical decisions and have better health outcomes.
Our 10 tips for a better medical appointment.
These tips will help you keep your appointments, and your relationship with your doctor, as helpful as possible:
- Be compassionate. Doctors are people too and they work long hours at a demanding job. A little compassion from you goes a long way!
- Try to be patient and calm during appointments; realize that doctors feel stressed by their workloads and time pressures.
- Come to appointments prepared with questions, symptoms, concerns, etc. Prioritize your health issues/complaints in order of severity and/or concern.
- Don’t wait until the end of the appointment to bring up a serious concern or issue.
- If you bring information you found on the Internet to an appointment, be open to a conversation and don’t insist that your information is more relevant than what your doctor has.
- Listen carefully and evaluate what your doctor is recommending. You have a right to refuse testing, treatments and/or medications, but don’t make rash decisions.
- Take detailed notes at all doctor appointments. Also, consider recording appointments with your phone – but ask your doctor first. Share the information with all members of your medical team at future appointments.
- Keep copies of all important documents (test results, etc.) together and organized, and bring them with you to all appointments.
- If something doesn’t seem right, speak up!
- If you hate waiting, try to schedule the first appointment of the day or the first appointment after the doctor’s lunch break.
Want to learn more?
Because your health can rely on it, read these posts for more tips on how to make the most out of every medical appointment:
- Why are Doctor-Patient Relationships Vital?
- Understanding Medical Information Is Harder Than Most Realize.
- Why Take Detailed Notes at Doctor Appointments?
- Should You Record Medical Appointments?
- 10 Tips to Communicate Better with Doctors.
- What is the Best Time of Day for Medical Care?
- How Can You Get the Best Healthcare? Actively Participate!
- The Importance of Shared Decision Making.
- Doctors Interrupting Patients Can Impact Our Health.