Communication is Key to Getting the Most From Doctor Visits

The need for honest, open communication with your doctor is crucial when it comes to your health. Many patients withhold information or downplay symptoms, which can be an obstacle to getting the best care possible.

Try following these four tips:

  1. When communicating with your doctor, make sure to discuss your key concerns early in the visit. Sharing information early on can help lead the doctor in the right direction and more quickly eliminate or recognize possible problems and causes.
  2. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. It’s your health, after all. If you do not understand what the doctor is saying or you just have questions relating to the problem or treatment, just ask and your doctor should be happy to explain. Your doctor wants you to have peace of mind that they are giving you the best treatment and tests possible, so you asking questions helps both of you.
  3. Don’t downplay or dismiss your symptoms. What you might shrug off as “just a little cough” or a seemingly minor pain that “doesn’t hurt that bad” could be a sign of something worse. Telling your doctor can help assess the seriousness of an issue and better ensure you get the tests and treatment you need.
  4. Finally, be sure to follow up with your doctor. If your health issue persists--or if even if improves—let your doctor know so you can get guidance on any next steps.

Your doctors want the best for you

Communicating with them is one of the most important things you can do. Good communication can not only help you get proper diagnosis and treatment as fast as possible, it could even save your life.

Source:

Communicating with Your Doctor | Family Caregiver Alliance.” Family Caregiver Alliance, www.caregiver.org/communicating-your-doctor. Accessed 17 Dec. 2019.

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Updated August 17, 2020

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