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Speak Up: Getting The Best Care From Your Doctor Starts With You
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Speak Up: Getting the Best Care From Your Doctor Starts With You

If you were unhappy with your doctor or you were unable to agree with what he is saying to you, would you say something? If you just said no, then don't fret, you are not alone. In fact, according to research which can be found in in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 86% of patients said that they would not speak up at all, even if that meant complying with orders they disagreed with. There are a number of reasons that this happens, including being uncomfortable in the situation as well as viewing the doctor as the definitive authority on the matter of health.

Imagine it, you are stuck in the chilled examining room, often wearing nothing but a paper gown and your socks when the doctor walks in, scans through your chart and then declares a diagnosis and proposes a course of action. Most doctors do not ask for their patient's thoughts on the matter nor do they ask what the patient thinks should happen next. Speaking up in this situation can be difficult, even for the strongest willed person. The doctor is supposed to be the expert, the person we come to in cases of illness, so it would seem strange to then start questioning that person's authority. But, remember, doctors do not always have all of the answers and there is no reason that you can't ask questions or even say that you do not agree with what they say.

Doctors are often very busy and may be trying to rush through far more patients than they have the patience to see- especially if a number of those patients are going to wait until the end of their appointment to ask a question or to reveal a troubling symptom. Doctors even gave this habit a name "doorknob syndrome". To combat this, it is important to know exactly what you need to talk to the doctor about. Don't think that you are asking too many questions or that there are any "stupid" questions. Write down the questions that you need to ask so that you don't forget any of them. You might even make a copy for the doctor as well as yourself so that you can both read through them.

Just because you don't know the medical terms, don't feel that you can't offer your opinion to the doctor. Most doctors will welcome the discussion. If yours does not, it might be time to consider a new doctor for your care.


Street Talk

your article is very informative. i always suspect how some doctors operate. i was messed up for about twenty years by doctors by not properly diagnosing an ailment that just needed easy and simple treatment, i hope doctors are reading this article. it seems that a time have come for the sick to start treating doctors.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Insurance companies only pay the doctor a set amount for each patient so some of them try to fit in as many as they can each day - it's not fair especially to the patients that are a little hesitant to mention their symptoms until it is too late. Of course, that works both ways, a doctor can't treat something if he doesn't have the full informaiton to work with. Doctors and patients must work as a team or nothing will ever get done.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
William6  

Amie, My Doctor and I have an understanding..."If I am here then there is something I am concerned about. If it's due to my age then I understand. If it isn't then let's try and fix it. He's a listener so it's cool...Stay well.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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