Celebrate National Doctors Day With Tips on How to Talk to Your Doctor

7 minute read

March 30th is National Doctors Day, and what better way to celebrate than learning to communicate better with your doctor? Many people are nervous when they visit the doctor and information is not always presented in the best way.

When it comes to talking to your doctor, honesty is the best policy. This is the only way to give them the information they need and to get the best possible treatment.

Getting the Most Out of Your Doctor Visit

Often the time allocated for a doctor visit is short, so you have to be to the point when communicating. It is not that your doctor has better things to do; they just need to see a number of patients in a day.

You can help by being prepared with what you wish to discuss. The more direct and upfront you are, the more efficiently they can diagnose and treat you. When you do your part, you no longer have to feel powerless in the whole process.

When it comes to talking with your doctor there are a few important tips to remember. Not only will these tips help you open great lines of communication with your doctor, but you will also develop a better overall relationship with them too.

1. Always Rehearse

Rehearsing what you want to discuss is often helpful for issues that may be embarrassing. If a topic makes you uncomfortable, then rehearse what to say before your visit. The more comfortable you get talking about the issue, the easier it will be for you to relay the information to your doctor.

Remember: To get the best treatment you need to be open with your doctor, so get comfortable with the uncomfortable. You’ll thank yourself later.

2. Stay Focused

Because visit times are short, make sure you stay on topic and focused on the issue at hand. If you have several things you need to discuss, maybe prioritize them and schedule different visits. This allows the doctor to focus on one concern at a time, so you can get the best possible treatment options. Going off topic can be a distraction and can negatively impact the treatment you get.

3. Be Honest

Along with being direct, be honest. Regardless of your embarrassment or reservations about sharing certain things, your doctor is the one person you must always be honest with. They are not there to judge—they are there to help. You and your doctor can only do this if they have all the facts. So don’t be afraid to tell them everything.

4. Ask Questions

It is important to ask questions upfront and not save them until the end. Once your doctor has made a diagnosis, they will be mentally moving on to the next step. You do not need to interrupt them, but as they discuss the diagnosis with you ask questions so you can be sure to get focused and detailed answers.

5. Don’t Go Alone

If you need emotional support for a troubling issue, go with a friend. Not only can they support you, but they can help remember to ask questions and help remember any directions the doctor gives you.

Remember that doctors are people too. Establishing a human connection with them first is the best way to develop a relationship with them.

Rather than diving right into the medical issues, start with a greeting and ask how they are. As small as this may seem, it goes a long way in developing a positive rapport with your doctor. They want to get to know you and help you, and remembering that they are human too is a great first step.

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The Bottom Line

Your doctor is one of the most important resources when it comes to your health and well-being. There is only so much you can do yourself to promote good health, and it helps to have a reliable doctor on hand to take over when illness or complications strike.

Take the time to work on communication skills and develop a better relationship with your doctor. Working together, you are guaranteed to be in the best possible health.

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