How to Have a Good Relationship with the Doctor
Having a good relationship with the Doctor is imperative to your health. If you cannot be honest with the doctor, there is a problem. As I told one particular doctor; some people are not meant to be married, some should not be friends, and, some are not meant to be doctor-patient. In fact, if the trust and honesty are not there, it could ultimately cost your life. Additionally, there may be times that you as a patient must take a stand about the health care you receive. In the following paragraphs, there are some no fail strategies for communicating with the doctor.
First and foremost, do not; under any circumstances exaggerate your symptoms or condition. It is very important that the physician know the exact symptoms of the illness. Furthermore, exaggerating can give the doctor the wrong impression of your mental stability, or worse, make the doctor feel as if their time is being wasted. In any case, this behavior goes into a ‘permanent’ record that will follow a patient throughout their life. Just like a criminal actions, medical actions (or lack thereof), will permanently effect how you are treated. In addition, divulging all pertinent information to the doctor is essential to staying healthy and receiving the proper medication.
Another important part of doctor-patient edict is dealing with grievances properly and diplomatically. Yelling or cursing at the doctor will not help your plight; this patient knows this from first foot-in-mouth experience. If you are upset with the doctor, sit down and write why, what could have been done differently, and research what the doctor has diagnosed you with. Additionally, write a list of questions and suggestions to take to the next appointment (it is smart to do this before each appointment). It is essential that you do your own research about diagnoses and medications; doctors are human and make mistakes, so be proactive in your health care.
If narcotics are a part of the treatment plan, the patient needs to be vigilant in controlling proper dosage. America has become a ‘pill for everything’ country; meaning, there is almost a pill for every little discomfort, and narcotics are being utilized by an astonishing amount of people. Once addictive behavior is displayed, whether continuous or not, will affect the way all doctors treat you from that point forward. It cannot be stressed enough, everything goes into a permanent medical record; this record will dictate how you will be treated, now and in the future.
Additionally, before asking for pain medicine, first ask the physician if there is another alternative. Ask yourself if the discomfort warrants narcotics, you may only need Advil, Aspirin, or Tylenol. Narcotics can cause serious issues beyond the realm of the doctor’s office; addiction is a serious problem in America, and the consequences will last a lifetime. Furthermore, drug addiction does not discriminate against race, religion, or age. Many of famous Americans have gotten addicted to Hydrocodone, Oxycontin, and an array of other dangerous narcotics. These dangerous substances will even kill, without the intention of the user. I am certain Anna Nicole Smith did not want to overdose, leaving behind a baby daughter with no mother. And, unfortunately many others have suffered the same fate.
Physicians, Surgeons, and Dentists are important to staying healthy and controlling illness. But, we as patients have a greater responsibility of taking care of ourselves and our family’s health; as well as doing as the doctor says. Another quick way to destroy the relationship between the doctor and you, that is to not take your medicine as prescribed, the way it is prescribed. In 2006, I thought a doctor was not taking me off of the narcotics fast enough; so, I quit taking them without telling the doctor first. The result of that action was a note in my permanent record saying, “Patient refuses to take her medication”. Even though I thought it was the right thing to do, the doctor did not. Needless to say, he is no longer my doctor.
Forming a relationship with a doctor is like forming a marriage; communication, trust, honesty, and participation are required. If the communication or trust is broken, the relationship breaks down and someone gets hurt. A patient must feel like they can be completely honest with their physician; honest about alcohol, drugs, illnesses, and symptoms. Doctors can only make decisions based on the information given to them, nothing more. Researching physicians before making an appointment is a great idea. Know whose hands you are putting your life in, do a background check. Finally, the most important thing to remember is (jokingly), do not make the person who holds the paddles mad because they adjust the voltage! This means in short, there are certain people you just don’t make mad; the one preparing your food, or the one who may save your life…or not.