This is Part 2 in a 5-part series of articles on 5 Tips to Be a Better Participant in Your Healthcare. In Part 2, I discuss how you can speak up and become more comfortable doing so at your doctor’s visits.
5 Tips to Be a Better Participant in Your Healthcare: Introduction
Part 2: Speak Up During the Visit
Tip #2: Speak up during the visit
While some physicians get frustrated with patients consulting “Dr. Google,” there are few physicians who can argue with patients striving to better understand their disease. Perhaps you are unsure about a new diagnosis or how the diagnosis will impact your life. If something does not sound right to you, speak up and ask for clarification!
Explain to your doctor how you aim to be an active participant in your care. If you have researched your illness and treatments on the internet, preface your questions by saying you are hoping to educate yourself on your condition and you are hoping they might explain some confusing information you found online. You are not expected to know as much detail about anatomy, diseases, and recommended medications as they do, so feel free to speak up.
Ask the questions that matter to you!
If you are too embarrassed to talk about a particular problem, write it down and give it to your doctor. The job of your doctor is to help you better understand your conditions and treatments.
Finally, if helpful, bring a friend and empower them to be a second set of ears, your advocate, and permit them to speak up with questions.
What factors should you consider when choosing a hospital? I share more about this question in Part 3 of this 5-part series of articles on 5 Tips to Be a Better Participant in Your Healthcare.