Developing a Good Doctor / Patient Relationship: Taking Charge of Your Health in the New Year

June 6, 2023

Building your ideal doctor, patient relationship can be a confusing and tough task. First of all, what does the idea Doctor, Patient relationship even look like? In this blog we will be going over some steps to take to get the most out of your healthcare experience.

  • Finding the right Doctor for you
  • Be upfront with your Doctor
  • Do you research
  • Be your biggest healthcare advocate
  • More on the Doctor / Patient relationship and healthcare

First step is finding a doctor you feel comfortable with.

Finding the right Doctor for you

The ideal doctor, patient relationship looks different to each person. When seeing a new doctor you should first think about what your needs are. This can depend on your age, state of health and the lifestyle you lead. You may be in excellent health or have many problems; regardless you deserve the best care from your doctor.

Finding the right Doctor

Your doctor should be someone who can care for your specific medical needs. Think about any conditions you may have or specific health concern. Certain doctors may have more experience with your condition, while others may not. Look for a doctor with a experience in your areas of concern.

Establishing a rapport

You need to feel comfortable enough with your doctor to be able to tell them sometimes embarrassing or intimate details about your health. You shouldn’t feel shy with your doctor and establishing a good rapport with them is key to this. If you meet with a doctor and the relationship just doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to walk away and try again with another doctor.

Finding balance

In all cases a good doctor patient relationship should be a balance. Of course your doctor may know the medicine better than you but you know your body best. Achieving a balanced relationship is about acknowledging the reach of your knowledge and respecting each others.

Be upfront with your Doctor

If you want to build a healthy and trusting relationship with your doctor, it is most important that you are upfront and honest with them. They can’t give you the best care unless they know the truth about your health.

Understandably sometimes it can be a daunting task to update your doctor on all your health woes in the short span of an appointment. We tend to forget, underplay or overplay symptoms we have been experiencing. Here are some tips on how to avoid blanking in the room.

Bring notes

We all have the experience of facing an important meeting only to draw a blank when it came our time to share. This is also a common experience in the doctor's office. In order to get the most out of your short time with a physician make notes about what’s been going on with your health and questions you have about it. That way when you are in the room you can refer to your notes and be confident you are giving an accurate recap on your health.

Bring a companion

Not everyone needs a companion but it can be helpful to keep you on point. It can be nerve racking to ask certain questions, or advocate for certain courses of treatment when faced with the authority of a doctor. Bringing a friend, family member or partner along to advocate alongside you can a great tool.

Do your research

In the era of WebMD and self-diagnosis you have to make sure you do your research and do it properly. Your short time with the doctor can be made much more efficient if you are as up to date with your state of health or condition as possible. That is not to say you should behave like you know more than your doctor but you should be aware of what is out there and ask questions about how it might apply to you.

There internet is not the only source of information out there. Sometimes we have to acknowledge the reach of our physician and get a second opinion.

Get a second opinion

General physicians are focuses on just that, your general health. Sometimes getting a second opinion from a specialist or just another doctor with a different breadth of experience can be helpful. All that said, you do not need a second opinion, if you are happy with your care and it is working for you, stick to it.

Have real conversations with your doctor

The more you know, the better you and your doctor will be able to communicate. Again, your doctor knows more about medicine than you do, but you know more about you and it is important you meet each other halfway. Don’t be afraid to engage in a real conversation about healthcare, chances are your Doctor will be happy to have such a well informed patient.

Be your biggest healthcare advocate

Doctors see a lot of patients everyday and so they cannot spend the same amount of time concerned about your health as you do. You should not shy away from that concern for your health, dive into it, do you research and be your biggest healthcare advocate. That way you and your doctor can do the most good for your health, together!

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