When Visiting Your Doctor…
Visiting the Dr. can be a very frightening experience.
Oftentimes, doctors can neglect to communicate what they are doing to your body and in some cases; the visit can feel rushed, or even like a waste of time and money. In these cases, just remember that you are paying for a service and that you are a member of your health care team. You have a right to ask questions and obtain honest answers. According to the Patient’s Bill of Rights, you are entitled to an explanation prior to any procedure and you have a right to make informed decisions. Be willing to ask questions about your body and health concerns. No question is stupid. If it concerns you, it deserves the attention of your physician.
To help you through the visit, carry a notebook and a pen. You can make a note of medical terminology, his recommendations, the names of medications, and discuss them in detail before you leave. Find out if your doctor has an emergency number and be sure to thank him for taking the time to address your concerns.
It is also your responsibility to be completely honest with your healthcare provider. Many times, patients choose to discuss only some of their problems with their physician. Then, the doctor prescribes treatments based on what he was told. Whenever a patient chooses to withhold pertinent information, he places himself at risk especially because all medications do not work well when taken altogether. Some medication “cocktails” can cause severe reactions (e.g., A sudden Increase/Decrease in Blood Pressure, Abnormal Breathing, Abnormal Blood Sugar levels, Decreased Motor Control, Loss of Sight, Seizures, Nausea and Vomiting, etc.), and can even prove deadly. If you smoke, drink, take ANY medications, or abuse drugs, PLEASE tell your doctor. Your Doctor will respect your rights to Confidentiality. Your Physician wants to help you feel better, but you have to help him do what he does best by being a good team-player.
Be an Active Member of Your Health Care Team.