Making an appointment to see your primary care physician is the first step in taking control of your health and in order to get the most out of your visit, you have to build a relationship with your doctor. Talking to your doctor about your health is just as important as going into the office. Many people who make their first appointment leave the doctor’s office confused and frustrated because they felt like they were treated like a number.
To ensure that you are getting the most out of your visit, you have to build a relationship with your doctor so they know exactly what’s going on with you. Doctor patient relationships are important for your health because a doctor, who is familiar with you, will be able to recognize changes in your health down the line. Building a relationship with your doctor starts by talking to them. Here are three ways to get the conversation started.
1) Talk about any changes in your health. When seeing a new doctor, they’ll ask you about your health history and this is the time to discuss anything out of the ordinary that’s happened with your health. The best thing that can help drive this conversation is to keep a list of any illnesses or symptoms that may help your doctor better understand your health.
2) Ask questions about recommended tests and procedures. Asking questions about tests and procedures can help you understand what is going on with your health, allows you the opportunity to choose whether or not you want the procedure, and can help avoid unnecessary testing. According to a recent survey, 70 percent of physicians say that having this conversation helps patients understand what’s going on and helps to avoid unnecessary medical procedures.
3) Talk about different treatment options. After a doctor gives you a diagnosis they’ll offer multiple treatment options. Discussing treatment options like surgery or physical therapy can help your doctor find the best treatment for you as an individual. Having this discussion can also help lower your health care costs.
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Photo credit: Alex Proimos