There are many benefits associated with having a good relationship with your doctor. Not only does it make your life more convenient but it also helps you stay healthy. There is a big convenience associated with being able to contact your doctor in the middle of the night or on the weekends. If you are sick, you may be able to get advice rather than having to get out of bed and head to the doctor’s office. People who have a beneficial interaction with their doctors will generally have a better medical outcome. People who aren’t comfortable with their doctor may be anxious about seeing them or contacting them. This can leave a health condition unnoticed and untreated. Let’s talk about some different ways that you can improve your relationship with your doctor moving forward into the future.
Learn to Use an Electronic Records System
Many doctor’s offices have begun to use an electronic records system to keep track of your information. In addition to your medical records, these systems are also used as a form of communication between you and the staff. You can request a prescription refill, cancel an appointment and ask a question all on this online portal.
Be Prepared For Your Appointment
Doctors appreciate it when a patient comes prepared for an appointment. Make sure you bring a list of all your current medications and their doses. You should also have a list of questions ready so you don’t waste time trying to think of what you need to say. Be sure you are at least fifteen minutes early so you have time to check in and have your vitals recorded.
Be Honest With Your Concerns
When you see your doctor there are likely going to be problems that you want to be addressed. Don’t just tell your doctor about the headaches that you are having. Be honest about your concerns regarding the headaches and how they are affecting your life. This will lead to a better treatment plan moving forward.
Talk About After Hours Care
If you have a problem after your doctor has gone home for the day, ask about different options that you have. Should you go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care facility? Should you contact your doctor at a special number to let them know what is going on? Bring up this topic and you might be surprised to find out that there are a number of different options available to you that are quite convenient.
Make Sure Your Questions are Answered
It is very common for patients to bring up questions at their appointment and leave without them fully answered. This isn’t necessarily neglect on the behalf of the doctor. Sometimes your doctor isn’t clear about what you’re asking. If he or she doesn’t hear you the first time then think about another way that you can ask the question.
Your average doctor visit only lasts fifteen minutes to one hour. During this time you need to be checked by the doctor and go over all of the issues you need addressed. If you are starting to run out of time there may be questions that will have to wait until a later date. Make sure that you ask the most important questions first so they are out of the way. Also, bring up any warning signs or red flags that you know should be addressed first thing in the appointment.
Many doctors go through training programs that are designed to educate them on developing a healthy relationship with their patients. While you don’t necessarily have that type of resource available to you as the patient, you do have the opportunity to put effort into getting to know your doctor more and building up the level of trust the two of you have. It is not acceptable to have a doctor who doesn’t even remember who you are from appointment to appointment. That often means their caseload is too large and you may not be getting the best care that you potentially could be.