How to Have a Better Relationship with Your Doctor – “Rising Above RA”
By Effie Koliopoulos
These three simple tips can be used in just about any situation in life but especially with your doctor.
Your doctor may or may not be a mind reader, so always come prepared. The night before your appointment or even a week before, make it a habit to start making a list of any and all questions, concerns and suggestions you may have. Yes, suggestions. We can also teach our doctors some things that they don’t know whether it is a supplement we want to try, a new medical device and so forth. We need to take ownership and equal responsibility in our own care. Learning how to get the most out of appointments and establishing a good rapport is imperative to obtaining proper care and treatment.
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They don’t say listen more than you speak for nothing. We need to be able to listen to what the doctor is telling us to do. Sometimes we can be quick to discount what the doctor is suggesting due to outside influences of people telling us what they think we should do. We can drive ourselves crazy hearing other patient’s success and disaster stories. What we really need to listen to is our own bodies, our own intuitions and our own doctors.
Establish an efficient way to connect
Technology has connected humanity more than ever now. There is no excuse to not be able to get in contact with your doctor outside of office hours. Many doctor offices and hospitals now have patient portals set up were you can communicate via messages and email, allowing for a faster response time. In other cases, doctors provide patients with a ‘after hours’ number or have staff on hand ready to take an important message. If you don’t have this option, which is rare, or if even after trying all the above methods and your doctor still doesn’t respond then that’s when you revert back to tip one, and speak up at your next appointment.
There can be times though that breaking up with your doctor is needed, in order to find a proper fit. If you find that what you are saying is not being validated, there is not a good understanding and your needs are not being met, don’t feel obligated to stay just because you had that doctor forever. Just like any relationship in life, if it’s not suiting your best interest then it’s best to move on.