No matter how healthy you are, you might need to address a medical concern with a doctor at some point. And since you know what is normal for your body, it is important for a provider to listen to your concerns, so they can decide on the best course of action for diagnosing and treating you correctly.
Although physicians have extensive education on which they base their opinions and recommendations on, they often have a limited amount of time to designate to each patient. As a result, you must make sure your doctor fully listens to your symptoms, concerns and desired outcome to increase your chances of receiving appropriate care.
Three ways to increase patient-doctor communication
To avoid unnecessary tests or procedures, you might want to plan ahead for your doctor’s visit. Being prepared with the information you wish to provide could help direct the conversation you have with your provider. It could potentially prevent a misdiagnosis as well.
Before you get to your appointment, be ready to openly and honestly tell your doctor:
- How your symptoms feel
- To what extent you suffer
- When your symptoms began
- If you previously experienced the same symptoms
- What you were doing when you first noticed your symptoms
Depending on your situation and the seriousness of potential follow-up visits, you might want to ask a friend or family member to attend your appointment with you. They could help keep track of the information you receive and make sure the information provided is clear.
In many cases where you feel your doctor isn’t listening to you, you might choose to express your concerns about poor communication. However, if your doctor does not consider your concerns and their designated treatment plan causes you harm, you might choose to hold them accountable.