Visiting a doctor’s office can be an intimidating experience for patients; too many rules and protocols the medical staff follow can make you feel you are going through an airport security screening. Many patients report they feel anxious when waiting for their turn to see the doctor.
No matter if you are at the doctor for a yearly check up, a cancer diagnosis or even plastic surgery, it is important to ask the right questions to get the best quality health care and relationship with your doctor.
Patients manage to do their homework on the internet before visiting the doctor’s office, researching their symptoms, and then writing down and memorizing a list of questions about their medical condition; hoping that they are thoroughly answered by their doctor.
However, many patients end up forgetting almost half of their questions as soon as they walk in the doctor’s office.
“The truth is, patients are often intimidated and confused by the whole medical experience and in this state are even more likely to forget the details of their medical history, thus creating a less than ideal environment for optimizing health,” said Dr. Melanie Lane on KevinMD.
The patient-doctor relationship is very important; the better the relationship you have with your primary doctor, the higher the chances you'll earn valuable and detailed medical advice.
Compiled by by Sagar Nigwekar, MD and James Sutton, RPA-C, bloggers for Kevin MD, here are a few tips on how to build a successful relationship with your doctor and to get the answers you want:
Build a rapport with your doctor: Smile, shake hands, and make good eye contact. Lines like “Busy day?” or “I like the changes you made to the waiting room.” They may seem like a trite approach but they serve their purpose; making a good impression on the doctor.
Bring someone along: Having someone with you will be able to remember what the doctor has said, in case you missed out anything. Make sure you bring someone you feel comfortable discussing personal details about your medical condition. Doctors are like us; we all tend to act differently in group setting rather than one-on-one.
Manage your visit time: Your visit time with your doctor is very precious and limited. Train yourself to use the time with your doctor wisely. When the doctor reaches a diagnosis, ask your questions.
Keep the ball in your court: Try your best to control the visit as much as you can. You set the agenda. Doctors usually start the session by asking, “How can I help you today?” Answer by stating that you have some questions about your illness.
It is hard enough to find a good doctor, so make sure to build a trustful relationship with the one you choose. This goes for general practitioners, dentists, and dermatologists alike. To get the most of your time together, don’t be afraid to be open, honest and ask the right questions; its the only guaranteed way to make sure you're getting the treatment you need and deserve.
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.