Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to earn your doctor’s respect

The commonest complaint patients have about doctors is that they do not take the time or the trouble to explain to them what's happening . Doctors are notorious for cutting off patients right in the middle of a sentence. They also use a lot of jargon, thus obfuscating matters and confusing patients. This causes patients to become frustrated and unhappy , because they feel doctors are not being transparent ; and are not willing to share information.

It's not that doctors are trying to hide information from their patients . Doctors are busy people , who obviously want to increase their throughput , and see as many patients as quickly as possible. This is why when the patient asks a question , the doctor tries answering it as quickly and efficiently as possible. This often means that he uses a lot of jargon , which the patient often doesn't comprehend . The doctor doesn't take the time or the trouble to figure out whether the patient has understood what he's saying, thus creating a vicious cycle. Patients are intimidated, and will often sit in front of the doctor, nodding their head, even though they are completely clueless about what the doctor is saying. This is increases the gap in doctor-patient communication.

While it's true that the amount of time which the doctor will have to spend with patients will always be at a premium , there is a simple trick which patients can use in order to make sure that doctors answer their questions properly . The trick is to craft  their questions intelligently . This will ensure that the doctor will pay attention to your questions and answer them properly . If you use the right medical terms, the doctor is much more likely to respect you, because he will understand that you know what you are talking about !
You need to earn your doctor’s respect , and the best way of earning the respect is by doing your homework before the visit , so that you are well informed about what your problems and possible treatment options. If you well-organized and you ask  intelligent questions which show the doctor that you've done your homework , the doctor will respect you as being a smart patient , and will make sure that he answers your questions properly and carefully.

The rule is simple – the squeaky wheel gets the grease , and the more the time and trouble you take in educating your self , the more your doctor will be willing to respect you and educate you even more. Since you can't possibly change the doctors behavior , the key is to learn to change your own behavior , so that both you and your doctor are likely to be much more satisfied with each other !

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