Six Big Mistakes People Make When Seeing Their Doctor
The doctor is the one with all the knowledge. So all we have to do when we’re sick or injured is show up, right? Well, you can take that attitude but your healthcare will suffer. Going to see the doctor (or physical therapists) should be far more involved than just “showing up.”
Below are six big mistakes people make when seeing their doctor. As you will discover there’s a central theme running through each mistake. That theme is you need to be responsible for your own healthcare.
You might spend hours picking out an outfit for a big event or taking copious notes for your upcoming fantasy draft, but when it comes to seeing your doctor you arrive completely unprepared. Do you have a list of your symptoms? Do you have a list of questions you’re going to ask your doctor? Do you have a list of the medications you’re taking? You don’t have a lot of time with your doctor so being prepared is the best way to make efficient use of the time you do have.
This goes hand in hand with being prepared. Remember, it’s your body and it’s your health. Your healthcare provider shouldn’t be the only keeper of your health history. You should be journaling, or at the very least, taking notes of your doctor visits, medical procedures, allergies, and the medications you’ve taken over the years. Having all your medical data at your disposal and easily accessible will play a huge role in ensuring that your doctor visits are positive and productive.
No two doctors are alike. Each has their strengths and their weaknesses. However, all doctors have one thing in common-none of them can read minds. That’s why you have to tell them everything. You can’t assume they already know or they’ll figure it out via a test result. Communicating effectively helps your doctor help you. Remember, you only have one doctor but he or she has hundreds of patients. They’re not spending all their time thinking about you and your health.
So you’ve got a thing on your thingy or you make an odd noise every time you bend over, don’t be embarrassed. Your doctor sure isn’t. They’ve heard it all before and probably more than once. Not only should you be brave and tell your doctor about that embarrassing seepage, or that awkward rash, but you should do it right away. If you wait until the last minute your condition won’t get the attention it deserves.
Like we said it’s your body and it’s your health. You need to take control. You need to educate yourself on what ails you and what options are available for your treatment. Reading a few articles on the internet doesn’t suddenly put you on par with your doctor, but it does show him or her that you’re taking ownership of your healthcare. They respect that. It also allows your doctor to spend less time on the basics and more time discussing the finer points of your condition.
This doesn’t mean you need to boss your doctor around but it does mean you ask questions and thoroughly discuss your healthcare. Yes, your doctor is well-trained and educated, but that doesn’t mean you just get to sit there and agree with everything they say. You and your doctor should be on the same team; you should be partners. The hallmark of every good partnership is communication and mutual respect. So speak up, ask questions, and work with your doctor.