Nearly every health article ends with the advice, ‘Always ask your doctor.’ But unfortunately not all doctors want to be asked. Studies show that most tend to keep consultations very short and brisk, even interrupting patients or waving off their concerns. Very often, you may feel dissatisfied and confused as you leave the office.
You may not be able to change doctors, but here’s a way of dealing with them so you can get the most out of your visit.
Read as much as you can
Your doctor has very little time. So, try to ask specific questions. You can do this by reading up on your condition on the internet. Many credible government health organizations and medical associations maintain websites that give simple and yet detailed explanations on conditions.
This doesn’t mean that you’re going to diagnose yourself or self-medicate. It would even irritate doctors if you went there thinking you had all the answers. Instead, see your research as a way to ask more intelligent questions. For example, you don’t fritter away 10 minutes on, ‘What’s diabetes and why did I get it?’ You can say, ‘I’ve read about some homeopathic remedies for diabetes. In your opinion, are these [name herbs] safe, and can I use them with the medication you prescribed?’ Or, “I’ve heard about foods that can lower blood sugar. Will this help, and what other diet changes should I make?”
Come armed with a list
With a written list, you don’t accidentally forget to ask a question. You can even give the doctor the list at the start of the consultation, so you don’t cram the important questions for the end of the visit when both of you are in a rush. If your doctor’s realy not the type to indulge in a lot of questions, prioritize them so that even if he shoos you out the door, you know you were able to tackle the most important concerns.
Record the consultation
Not all doctors are good at simplifying medical terms. If you feel that you miss most of the instructions or explanations, use your cell phone’s ‘record’ function and tape the doctor’s visit. That way you can play it back and look up whatever you don’t understand. If that isn’t possible, ask someone to go with you.
Show your meds
To check for drug interactions, show your doctor everything you’re taking, including vitamins, herbal supplements, and any over the counter medication you could be taking.
photo from sheknows.com