Do you find it hard to communicate with your doctor? Do you feel like your doctor is not listening to your concerns?

When speaking with your doctor, effective communication is key to ensuring that your concerns are heard and addressed.

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But how do you communicate effectively with your doctor? Let's find out!

Make A List

When at your appointment, you might forget some of the concerns/symptoms that you wanted to address. Having a list will ensure that nothing is forgotten.

You can even give your doctor a copy to follow along with.

animated character pulling out a list on a piece of paper

To make an effective list, you should...

  • Start your list a couple of days before your appointment to give yourself enough time to prepare and think it through

  • Put the concerns that are most important at the top of your list to make sure that they are addressed first

  • Keep it concise and to the point to ensure all of it can be addressed during your appointment

Don't Forget The Details

The more specific you are when explaining your symptoms, the less likely there is to be any misunderstandings between you and your doctor.

A news anchor saying,

When explaining a symptom, try to include details like:

  • When the symptom started

  • Where it occurs

  • How often it occurs

  • What it feels like

  • What you were doing when you first felt it

You can write down any of these details before your appointment so that you don't forget them.

Quiz

You are speaking to your doctor about chest pain. When explaining where the pain occurs, which response provides the doctor with the most helpful information?

Be Honest And Accurate

In order for your doctor to help you, they need to know everything that may be impacting your health.

This includes things that may be a little uncomfortable or embarrassing for you to share.

Talking about mental or sexual health issues may feel a little uncomfortable but it's important that you do discuss these things with your doctor. Your doctor has been specially trained to help you with these issues.

man saying

Share everything as honestly and accurately as you can to help your doctor help you.

Listen

It's easy to experience misunderstanding or confusion if you don't listen to what your doctor is saying.

Obama saying,

Listen to what your doctor has to say about your concerns and what they recommend.

Think you may forget any of the important information that your doctor shares? Consider taking notes with a pen and a piece of paper or using your phone.

Ask Questions

Don't be afraid to speak up and ask any questions that you may have.

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If your doctor says something that you're unfamiliar with or don't understand, ask them to explain.

If they recommend a treatment or medication that you're unsure about, ask them for more information about it.

Asking questions will further your understanding, and reduce the likeliness of any misunderstandings.

Take Action

Do you have an upcoming appointment with your doctor?

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Prepare now to ensure that you'll be able to communicate effectively!

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This Byte has been authored by

SS

Sasha Scott

Learning Designer