By teaming up with your doctor, you’ll begin much more than a beautiful friendship. You’ll also go a long way toward improving your health and your life.
Step 1: Choose your partner wisely
You want a doctor who’s skilled and knowledgeable, but also makes you feel at ease. If you need a new doctor, start your search by asking friends and family for referrals. Call the offices of your prospects to ask about insurance coverage, training, and experience. After your first visit, think about whether the doctor answered all of your questions and if they treated you with respect. If you haven’t met your match, try again. You want the first encounter with a new doctor to go as smooth as possible.
Step 2: Do your part
Your doctor may be the medical expert, but you play an important role in managing your health. Start by having your medical records sent to your new doctor, then take time to prepare for each appointment. Write down the reason for your visit and any health concerns or questions you may have. And bring the list of all your medications—or better yet, the actual bottles.
Step 3: Keep open communication
Listening to your doctor and speaking up when you have questions or concerns can help you achieve the goal of better medical care. Start by paying close attention during your visit. It may help to take notes. Between visits, call your doctor’s office if anything changes about your health or if you have questions about medications, medical tests, or visits to specialists.
Have any questions about creating a great doctor/patient relationship? Leave them in the comments below!
Sources include: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Institute on Aging, U.S. National Library of Medicine, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.