How to Build a Better Relationship with Your Doctor

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Finding the right doctor can be compared to finding the perfect pair of shoes. Sometimes they just don’t fit, but when you find the right pair, your journey is more pleasant, you feel supported and you may even have a new bounce in your step.

Finding the right doctor medically and on a personal level can make your experience more enjoyable, robust and can make you feel more in control of your healthcare journey. For many, this is a relationship worth fostering and below are a few things to think about when looking for the right doctor and a few tips on how to strengthen your connection.

Patient-Doctor Relationship Tips

  • Find a doctor who you feel comfortable with, someone who you trust and who communicates with you well. Know what you’re looking for in a physician. As I always say, not every doctor is for every patient, and not every patient is for every doctor. It takes two to make the doctor-patient relationship work.
  • Be open and honest with your doctor. It’s hard for doctors to help with an issue if they don't know the extent of what's going on.
  • Always feel empowered to ask questions if you don't understand something and feel encouraged to learn about your conditions and medications – especially by reading reliable sources.
  • Let your doctor know about other providers who are involved in your care, particularly if they practice outside of the same hospital or system. This way, the doctors can better work together to coordinate your care.
  • If you’re unhappy or dissatisfied with some aspect of their care or your experience, let the doctor know. Often the doctor may be unaware of the issue or may be able to provide more insight into a problem.

Extra Tips for Enhancing Your Experience

  • Preparing by bringing a list of written questions or a friend or relative to an appointment can help you remember the things you'd like to discuss.
  • Take notes during a doctor's visit. It can help you remember what the doctor said including the actions you should take.
  • Make sure you know how to reach your doctor's office after hours in case of emergencies.
  • If you're having new issues or problems, don't wait for a scheduled appointment. Let your doctor know so they can address it before things get out of hand.

Honest, open communication and trust between doctors and patients can make all the difference. Take control of your healthcare experience, and find the right doctor for you.

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