How To Talk To Your Doctor

How To Talk To Your Doctor

If there is one aspect of the health care industry that is lacking on the part of patients, it would be that of communication.

When you begin experiencing symptoms and you do not know the cause your first instinct tells you to go to the doctor.

You assume that when you get to the doctor’s office they will be able to simply check you out and figure out what is wrong without your input.

This assumption is dangerous and you should re-think your position on this before you make the trip to see your doctor.

While a doctor is equipped to make a diagnosis based on your apparent physical symptoms, they are still only human. Aside from their years of experience they only have what you tell them as a basis of forming a diagnosis outside of physiology.

Giving your doctor all the information that you have about what is wrong with you will allow them to make a more comprehensive decision that benefits both of you.

Knowing how to talk to a doctor is a skill that many people do not develop. However, it is absolutely integral to making the doctor/patient relationship work.

Forget your fear of talking to authority, it’s still your body, your life, so stand up and be accountable for yourself.

Here are the key things you need to keep in mind when talking to your doctor that will make it easier for them to work with you.

Prepare First

Before you visit your doctor you need to make sure you have everything that you need to thoroughly explain to them just what it is you need.

If you are feeling sick then you need to write down every single one of your symptoms.

You need to also gather up anything that you think or feel may be relevant. It is also very important that you write down any questions that you currently have so that you do not forget them when you are actually in the doctor’s office.

Tell Them Everything

“What seems to be the problem?” You will hear that at the beginning of almost every doctor visit. Right off the bat the doctor wants to hear from you. They need to know what exactly the problem is.

This first few minutes gives you the chance to tell the doctor everything that is wrong. This means you need to tell them every symptom that you are experiencing, any changes in diet or any injuries, no matter how insignificant you may think they are to your current condition.

You need to give them your past medical history as well if it’s a doctor that is not aware of your history. By understanding your past medical history your doctor will be better equipped to make a call on your medical present.

If you have your medical records then bringing those in will be even better. If you can bring in the medications that you may be on at the time then that will be an even bigger help.

Here are some key things that you should bring up:

  • Current symptoms…all of them.
  • Medical History
  • Irregularities
  • Current medications
  • Vitamins and supplements you are taking if any
  • Allergies
  • Changes to diet
  • If you moved recently, let them know that too.

Ask Them Everything

It is understandable that a doctor’s visit can get confusing. A doctor is used to using terminology on a daily basis that most probably would not use even once in their day to day lives.

However, if you do not understand something then do not simply nod your head and let the doctor continue talking. Ask questions.

The Doctor Is Not Judging You

Crazy Male Doctor

If there is one reason above all why many people are scared of talking to their doctor it would be intimidation.

Some worry that the doctor is judging them for making what they perceive to be bad health decisions. The truth of the matter is that the doctor is not judging you. If you are making bad health choices, like diet, they know and want to help.

Most doctors understand that NOBODY is 100% healthy. They understand that there is always something a person can be working on to improve their health, themselves included. The fact that you have taken the time to see the doctor shows them that you do care about your health.

Remember Which One Of You Is Not The Doctor

Now we need to cover the issue of knowing when you need to listen to your doctor.

Thanks to the internet more people are able to get an idea of what they think may be wrong with them, and they have major pharmaceutical companies running commercials to sell you on drugs so you ask for them.

Unfortunately this has given rise to a generation of people who feel they know enough about the medical field to fully diagnose themselves in spite of the fact that they have no medical training.

Even though this entire site is about natural health and wellness, you still need the guidance and knowledge your doctor has and take advantage of it.

If you have browsed online to learn what your problem is then it can be helpful. However, if you are visiting your doctor and present what you have read to them and they dismiss it after giving you a diagnosis then you should listen to them.

The saying that a person knows their own body better than anybody is not always true. In fact it is more often than not completely untrue.

The thing to remember is that, unless you are a doctor yourself, one of you completed medical school. The other did not.

This does not mean, of course, that you should not raise any legitimate concerns that you have.

It simply means that if you have brought your idea to the doctor’s attention and they have explained why it is not likely, or even possible, then it is a good idea to take them at their word.

Take Notes

If you feel that there is even a chance that you will not remember the entirety of the visit then you should find a way to take notes. You should bring a notebook with you so that you can mark down the bullet points that the doctor goes over with you.

If you are unable to take notes then ask your doctor if they mind you using a tape recorder. Anything that enables you to follow their instructions and opinions more easily will be beneficial.

Stethoscope on laptop keyboard

Always Follow Up

Arguably the most important step in talking to your doctor is to follow up with them. Even if there is nothing wrong with you you need to follow up and let them know that your symptoms are gone.

This will let them know that you are feeling better and it helps to build a rapport with them so that you will be more comfortable with them should you continue to see them.

It may even be a good idea to schedule a follow up appointment. This gives the doctor a chance to see whether you are really out of the woods or not. It also lets them know that you take your health seriously and are willing to go that extra mile to be healthy.

Communication