When you’re being treated by a doctor, you want to know that you’re working with someone you can trust. From just being comfortable with your doctor to getting the best treatment you can, the doctor-patient relationship is crucial to receiving adequate health care. Despite this, many people don’t have a great relationship with their doctor. This is understandable, especially if you don’t go to the doctor often. You’re also talking about some deeply personal topics, which is a difficult thing to do in general.
Get the most out of your next appointment and follow these five ways to develop a better relationship with your doctor.
1. Be prepared for the appointment ahead of time
Leading up to a doctor’s appointment, you might notice several changes with your health. Some problems might seem minor or they could come and go, so you might not think to tell your doctor. Even so, you should take note of any problems & have them ready when you see the doctor. This could be something as small as noticing that certain foods upset you or a change in your sleep patterns. If you have these problems in your mind, but it’s something small, you could easily end up forgetting it during your appointment. Missing anything during your doctor’s appointment won’t get you anywhere and could lead to more serious problems if you aren’t being treated.
2. Be open about your health
Health isn’t something many people are willing to openly discuss. You and your doctor don’t have a close, personal relationship, so they might be someone you feel the least comfortable around. If you can’t open up about your health to your doctor, you’ll find yourself at a serious disadvantage when it comes to your health care. Talking about your health includes anything current, past, and your family’s health history. Being able to talk openly will help the doctor determine the best way to treat you.
While some health concerns might seem embarrassing, this is what your doctor is trained for. You might also feel like some things aren’t important or that it’s something you can handle on your own. However, you should always discuss anything that could impact your health with your doctor. Records from a doctor’s appointment can also be useful in the future, like if you need evidence for a seatback failure lawyer after an accident.
3. Learn to ask questions
How often does your doctor say something that you don’t understand, but you go along with it? You don’t have a medical degree, so a lot of health terms can get confusing. If you don’t have a great relationship with your doctor, you might feel uncomfortable asking your doctor to explain something. While this can be fine, you won’t have a solid understanding of how you’re being treated. If something seems concerning to you or you don’t trust your doctor’s judgment, you should always ask questions. Doctors have extensive training, but you know your body better than anyone else, so you should ask as many questions as you need to.
4. Follow your doctor’s instructions
This might seem like something obvious, but it’s common to not follow a doctor’s orders correctly. You probably take medications as you’re directed, but what about lifestyle changes? Things like changing your diet, exercise, and sleep can all be easy to neglect especially if your doctor gave strict orders. For your health and the relationship you have with your doctor, it’s important that you follow their instructions. There can’t be a healthy relationship if you ignore what your doctor tells you. If something isn’t working out for you, you can always let them know.
5. Find a new doctor if you need to
Like any relationship, sometimes your relationship with your doctor just wasn’t meant to be. Sometimes you can see the same doctor for years and no matter what you do, there always seems to be a disconnect. In this case, you can try everything to build a relationship with no results. Neither of you could be at fault for this, you might just have your differences. If you feel like there’s just no way of being comfortable with your doctor, you should look into finding one you can work better with. After all, your relationship with your doctor is one of the most important relationships you have.
Photo by Christopher Boswell on Unsplash
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