People who have good, understanding relationships with their doctors are likely to get better and more thorough care. So how do you work towards this kind of doctor-patient relationship? It all starts at the first appointment. Follow these tips during your first appointment with a new physician in order to set the stage for a promising relationship.
1. Bring a written synopsis of your health history.
The more your doctor knows about your health history, the better they will be able to relate to you, diagnose you accurately, and give you advice for lifestyle improvement. It can be really easy to forget parts of your health history or unintentionally leave things out when you are sitting in the doctor's office, feeling nervous. So before your appointment, type up a synopsis of your health history, and print out a copy. You can also email a digital copy to your physician. This will ensure they get a better picture of your health, regardless of how well your memory functions during the actual appointment.
2. Set aside your shame and embarrassment.
Doctors are used to helping people feel more comfortable, but if they do not have to do this, then they can spend a little more time focusing on you and your actual health problems. So do your best to set aside your shame and embarrassment before you step into your doctor's office. Remember your doctor has seen and heard about countless embarrassing issues before. Yours will not surprise them. In fact, if you are able to speak openly and honestly about your problems, you will get a lot more out of this doctor's appointment and every appointment to follow.
3. Ask questions.
When something is not clear, ask your doctor to explain further. Not only will this help you better understand what your doctor is saying, but it will also demonstrate to your doctor that you are curious and interested. Doctors typically enjoy working with patients who take such an invested interest in their health, and if you ask questions and seek to understand, they will go above and beyond to help you.
A good, open doctor-patient relationship can be really valuable when something goes wrong and you need personalized care and medical attention. If you follow the tips above during your first appointment, you will be doing your part to start your relationship with the doctor off on the right foot.