How to Improve the Doctor-Patient Relationship


Going to the doctor can be a difficult experience for some people. They might feel ashamed about the status of their health. They might feel like their doctor shames them about the status of their health.

Without regular checkups, it can be difficult to know the status of your health. Finding ways to improve your doctor-patient relationship will only benefit you.

Here are some ways that the average person can reduce the negative emotions they may feel about going to the doctor.

#1. Set aside the agendas.

Most people go to the doctor to receive a specific diagnosis or be reassured that their health is good. Most doctors want to help their patients accept a diagnosis or think about symptom management. Either set aside the agenda to talk about what is going on or be upfront about why you’re going to visit.

#2. Avoid the Internet whenever possible. 

The temptation to self-diagnose your symptoms can lead to a misdiagnosis when you eventually see the doctor. If you feel like something might be wrong, don’t look up your symptoms. This will usually give you the worst-case scenario first. Schedule an appointment to speak with your doctor instead.

#3. Bring a list of questions to ask.

Take a few moments to write down any questions you might wish to ask the doctor during your appointment. Make sure that you’re honest about your medical history during this process. That will be the best way to move forward to an actual diagnosis of what might be going on. It may even be helpful to hand over your questions to the medical assistant, so your doctor can take a look at your immediate concerns right away.

#4. Ignore the judgment if you feel it.

To build trust with a doctor, you cannot fudge the number of alcoholic or caffeinated drinks you consume. You’ll never reach a beneficial treatment plan if you do. Some doctors may be judgmental about your habits, your weight, or your choices. If you cannot ignore this issue, then find a new doctor.

#5. Take notes when being given instructions.

Your doctor may offer you a lot of information that could be helpful to promote good health in the future. It can be difficult to remember it all, especially if you’re reeling from an unexpected diagnosis. Bring a notepad and pen to write some notes when you get the answers you’ve been seeking. This will help you be able to stick to the treatment plan later on.

#6. Understand your own personal bias.

Some people avoid medication whenever possible. Others want to intervene with medicine to feel better right away. By understanding where you fit on this spectrum, it will help you be able to communicate effectively with your doctor.

#7. Be patient.

Doctors are busy people. They see a lot of patients every day with the same concerns you may have. Take a deep breath, try to relax, and bring along something to read, so you don’t feel like you’ve wasted a lot of time.

With a solid doctor-patient relationship, it becomes easier to unlock a path that leads toward good health. Even though it might be scary at first, you will find that most doctors are great listeners who are only interested in your good health.

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