Charting the doctor-patient relationship: "What can patients do?
Know how to tell your illness story. Many patients tend to start with interpretation, “I think I have bronchitis” rather than plain facts, “I’ve been coughing for two weeks.” Brief, focused facts will usually get the doctor on the right track, Dr. Lown believes. He also recommends developing a clear description of the symptoms before the visit, not during.
Use concrete examples to explain how illness affects your daily life. For example, “I’m getting worse” is less helpful than “We’ve buying milk in quarts because I can’t lift gallons anymore.” Everyday details also help the doctor understand how the medical data translates into real life."