Establishing a strong doctor-patient relationship can help you get the best medical care possible, but this isn't always an easy task for patients. There may be several obstacles standing in your way. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help ensure you get the most out of your relationship with your doctor. Use the following guide to help you as you seek out a better bond with your doctor.
1. Be Honest
It's estimated that nearly a quarter of all patients lie to or omit information from their doctor. Unfortunately, not being honest with your doctor can have a negative impact on the quality of care you receive. Your physician relies on the information you provide to help diagnose conditions and provide advice on how to treat certain conditions. While you might feel embarrassed about some of your medical history or personal habits, giving your doctor a complete picture can be essential in getting the right treatment.
2. Ask Questions
Some patients may feel uncomfortable asking their doctors questions about their medical conditions or a new diagnosis. For some, it may be intimidating to ask questions, while others may feel that questioning a doctor might seem disrespectful. It's important to remember that your doctor is there to care for you as well as your medical conditions. Asking questions can help you be a better partner in your medical treatment, and it can help you avoid confusion. For example, you might be unsure about the side effects of a particular medication you've been prescribed. By asking questions, you can be better prepared to handle any side effects or adjust your lifestyle as needed to accommodate the new medication.
3. Keep Your Appointments
Your doctor may request to see you back after a certain number of weeks or months. This is to monitor your progress and to see if there are any changes in your condition. By skipping appointments, you may make it more difficult for your doctor to determine how treatments are working or how certain types of conditions are progressing. If you do need to reschedule an appointment, be sure to do so as soon as possible so you can stay close to the schedule your doctor has set for your care.
If you don't feel comfortable with your doctor, think about what is driving that feeling. Perhaps you would feel more comfortable with a doctor who is the same gender as you, or perhaps you might be better suited with a doctor closer to you in age. Remember that you should feel confident in your doctor's ability to care for you, and you should be able to seek out a physician who can provide the peace of mind you need every time you walk into the exam room.