How to Have Better Communication With Your Doctor

Have you ever left a doctors appointment feelings your questions were not answered or you were unsure about what to do next?……don’t worry you are not alone.

Today I want to talk about how to speak up for your self when you are at the doctor’s office or the hospital and how to improve communication with your health care team.

When your talking to doctors or nurses tell them how you feel. Don’t be shy to ask questions or correct a doctor or nurse if they misunderstood what you said. The more information you can share with your doctor the better able they will be to help you.

Here are 5 tips for effective communication with your doctor:

  1. Write a list and take a pen. Arrive with your top 2 or 3 questions and take notes.  This will help you track of the conversation and remember what was said.
  2. Bring information, outside test results, and a current list of medications. Do not assume that your doctor has all the medical information at hand.
  3. Bring another set of ears. If you think you may have trouble remembering important information it will be good to have a relative or a trusted friend in the appointment. They can listen, ask questions and take notes for you.
  4. If you do not understand something ask again. Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor to repeat something or explain it in a different way.
  5. Ask for an interpreter if you need one. If English is not your primary language don’t be afraid to ask to have an interpreter present if needed. Call ahead to be sure the interpreter will be available at the time of your visit.

Good communication is a two-way stream. It is your body and it is your life.  It is up to you to speak up for yourself and make sure you get the treatment and information you need to stay healthy. Cheers to living a healthy life.