Your relationship with your healthcare provider should be a partnership. Both of you have responsibilities and needs related to giving you the best possible care. How well you and your provider talk to each other is one of the most important parts of getting good healthcare. This means:
The best way to make sure the partnership works is to have good communication.
Although your provider might like to talk with you at length, each patient is given a limited amount of time on the clinic schedule. When making an appointment, tell the receptionist why you are making the appointment so enough time can be planned for you to meet with your provider. To get the most out of an office visit:
Asking questions is the key to getting what you want from the visit. If you don't ask questions, your healthcare provider may think that you understand everything and that you don't want more information. Medical words may sound like a foreign language to you, and many providers forget to translate. Ask questions when you don't know the meaning of a word (like aneurysm, hypertension, or infarct) or when instructions are not clear (like how to take your medicines). It may help to repeat what you think your provider means in your own words and ask, "Is this correct?" If you are worried about cost, say so. Tell your provider if you cannot get a medicine because of its cost. Your provider’s staff may be able to help you find ways to pay for your medicine or other treatments you need.
Questions your provider may ask you about your symptoms:
If your symptom is pain, then your provider may ask:
Questions you can ask about prevention of health problems:
Questions to ask about medical tests:
Questions to ask about a diagnosis:
Questions to ask about treatment:
Questions to ask about medicines:
Questions to ask about changing your habits:
Your provider can't read your mind, so it is important for you to speak up. Your provider can give you the best care only if you say what is really going on.
Remember that your healthcare provider is there to help you. If you have any problems with the treatment you get from your provider or his or her staff, it is important to talk about it. If you feel you have repeatedly tried to work with your provider and it is not working out, you may need to contact the customer service department of your insurance company to find other providers covered by your insurance. Your health is important, so you should find the right people to work with you to take care of it.