Sunday, September 02, 2007

Learn how to talk to your doctor

Many patients complain that doctors are brusque; rude; and never explain anything. However, communication is a two-way street, and the best way to get your doctor to talk properly to you is to learn how to talk to him. The secret is very simple - Think like your doctor !

As a patient, you are likely to be nervous, worried, anxious and tense - and this often means that you end up being very garbled and confused ( and confusing as well) when you speak to your doctor. This makes a bad situation even worse !

Try to put yourself in your doctor's shoes. He is quite likely to be: busy; preoccupied, with hundreds of things "to-do" on his list; and rushed for time. However, since he has chosen to he in a "helping profession", he is also quite happy to help you - if you can make it easier for him to do so. Help your doctor to help you !

This is why it's a good idea to prepare yourself and "do your homework" before talking to your doctor.

Organise your files and medical records. Even if you don't understand them, filing them in reverse chronologic order and numbering all the papers is a simple exercise which will make it much easier for your doctor to review your records.

It's also a good idea to prepare a one-page summary of your medical history before you go.

Think of a this as an application for a really important job - and the more the time and energy you put into this, the better you'll do. And the pleasant end-result will be that you'll find your doctor becomes much more helpful and communicative !

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