Good doctors are highly trained and dedicated to their patients and these might be your reasons for consulting with your doctor. But just because they have experience treating various conditions and have interacted with numerous patients doesn’t magically make them mind-readers. If you want to get the very best help and advice from your doctor, then it’s high time you help them help you.
Trust the Doctor:
Once you choose to see a doctor, it helps that you prepare yourself to trust them (whenever possible, don’t see a doctor you don’t trust no matter how good they may be). Trust is key! Trust that they know what they are doing and will do the very best to help you feel better. You may be a healthcare professional yourself or self-educated via google medical articles but for as long as you are consulting with your doctor, at that point their advice supersedes any knowledge you think you have. This can motivate the doctor to give you the best of their attention well as trying to show that you know it all can demotivate them at your expense. If you think mid the consultation that they may not be as good as you thought they were, it’s alright, let them finish and feel free to seek a second opinion at another facility.
A good doctor can tell when you are lying even though they may act like they believe the version you are telling them about why you might be feeling the way you do. You deserve a proper diagnosis, but this depends so much on what information you have shared with the doctor and what information you have decided to trivialise or keep secret. Many times, patients will keep important information to themselves because of fear of being judged, retaliation, harm or embarrassment. But your health is way more important and if your doctor’s competent and you trust them then believe they will professionally handle whatever information you share as confidential and utilise it the best way possible in your interest. It can be difficult to be completely honest if you are accompanied by a spouse, family member, or if you are a minor accompanied by a parent or other adult. The good news is that as long as you show you’re willing to cooperate with your doctor for the goodness of your health then they will most certainly find a way to help you deal with this.
Let the Doctor Choose What Information to Use:
Don’t act like the doctor, you are the patient so let the doctor do their job. It’s common for patients to think they know better and in so doing they individually choose which information to share (what they think is important) and what to ignore (what they think is trivial or inconsequential). The doctor has several years of training and experience for a reason—share all the information you can and let them choose from it what to use and what not to.
Ask to Understand:
Whether or not your healthcare is paid for or free, your doctor is there to help you understand your health better and make informed decisions going forward. Your doctor should explain to you any medical terms in simpler words that you can understand. You should know what tests may be done and why plus the cost. Any medications prescribed should be explained to you including, why the particular medicines, any potential side effects, costs and other crucial information. Should your doctor disregard information you think is important then try to find out from them why (if you’re not convinced then remember you can always seek a second opinion elsewhere). You should receive guidance on all the other options available to you to help you make a choice on your overall healthcare. It’s your health and you have a say in how and when it’s delivered to you.
Know Your Healthcare Provider:
Healthcare is expensive but that’s no reason for you to compromise your health and safety at the hands of sub-standard health facilities or incompetent ‘doctors’. As best as you can, always find a healthcare provider that’s fully and adequately licensed and should your doctor not introduce themselves nor their qualifications, please ask. A white coat and stethoscope are not sufficient signs that the person attending to you is professionally recognised and a competent medical or health personnel. The same goes for nurses and other staff attending to you at the health facility—if you feel doubtful or suspicious, ask and if you feel scared to then leave and possibly inform the relevant authorities. By doing this, you will have helped protect other unsuspecting patients from falling victim to poor medical practices and you will have protected good and qualified doctors from the damaging effects caused by ‘con artists’ in the sector.
How your consultation with your doctor goes can significantly impact the accuracy of your diagnosis and how effective any treatment you receive is. Be as involved and cooperative the next time you have a doctor’s appointment.
Love this article? Feel free to comment below or share your questions with us. You may also suggest topics you would love us to write about. [Pictures are courtesy of Pexels and Unsplash]. All articles are authored by Liz Anoushka unless otherwise stated.