Tips on How to Talk To Your Doctor

Cindi Gatton

Cindi Gatton

September 10, 2020

Being open and honest during your doctor's appointment is crucial if you want to get the right care - but doing so is useless if the doctor isn't listening to what you’re saying.

There are many barriers to effective communication in healthcare. Successful communication requires both parties to do their part. Luckily, there are tips to follow to ensure you are actively doing your part.  

Prepare for your appointments

One of the barriers to effective communication between patient and doctor is the doctor’s lack of time. 

To ensure that you are able to use the limited amount of time you have with your doctor, know how to prepare for your appointments. Making a list of your concerns to discuss and even bring a friend for support - or to help you remember all the information that is thrown in your direction!

Be honest 

Have you ever lied to your doctor?

Aside from telling your doctor the truth about your lifestyle and symptoms, you should also speak to them about any financial concerns and whether or not you have the right support at home. This way, your doctor will understand your personal situation and will help you devise a treatment plan that will work best for you.

Do not be afraid to ask for another appointment

The clock is ticking and you haven’t yet addressed all of your concerns. 

If you find yourself running short on time, ask for a follow-up appointment instead of trying to rush through what you wanted to discuss. 

This will ensure that you and your doctor have ample time to talk about your questions and concerns. 

Ask questions

If you have trouble understanding words that your doctor is using or you feel confused about the instructions they are asking you to follow, make sure to ask for clarification and explanations. 

Do the same when a treatment is suggested. Ask them why they believe that treatment is right for you, and also consider the associated cost before you agree to it.