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Doctor, Doctor, Lend me Your Ear

Here are some tips from Dr. Marissa Weiss on building a good doctor-patient relationship from the patient side. Thanks to Dr. Rich’s Covert Rationing blog for the link.

  • Greet the doctor–or introduce yourself if this is a new physician–with a professional handshake.
  • Let your doctor know what is on your mind and how the doctor can be most helpful.
  • Before you get to the doctor’s office, write down your symptoms and the questions you have for the doctor.
  • Record the doctors answers to your questions. This can either be done by taking notes, using a tape recorder (ask the doctor’s permission first) or bring a friend or family member to take notes for you.
  • Sit close enough to the doctor to feel like you are having a personal conversation, but not too close to make the situation uncomfortable for either of you.
  • Feel free to ask the doctor to repeat him/herself if you did not understand what he/she said.
  • Make sure that when you receive a test result, that your other doctors are informed of these results.
  • Ask yourself what do you value in a doctor. Be sure that your doctors satisfy your needs.
  • Go to a doctor who likes being a doctor. These physicians will make the extra effort to provide you with the best care.