Cultivating and maintaining a good relationship with your doctor is important. We are no longer in a time where doctors are in charge of our health… we should instead look at the doctor-patient relationship as a partnership. As with any partnership, communication is key. Here are some tips to help your doctor appointments go smoothly:
- Keep a folder or binder that is only for your medical records and notes. 89% of recently surveyed doctors in a recent Consumer Reports survey agreed that keeping track of your own medical history is important, and that a log of treatments, drugs, changes in your condition, tests and procedures you have had done, as well as notes from previous visits would be helpful in providing continuity of care.
- Make a list of questions or concerns. Prioritize your questions according to which is the most important so you can be sure to get those answered first. Plan ahead so you can make the most out of the time you have with your physician.
- Speak up for your health. Learn to advocate for yourself. Listen to your gut, and if something feels wrong, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. Remember that doctors themselves often question their own opinions and seek the advice of other doctors.
- Take your medication as prescribed. Noncompliance with treatment and medication is one of the biggest frustrations for doctors. This does not mean that you can’t question your doctor about his/her treatment plan. It is important to thoroughly understand what is being prescribed and why. You can also discuss medications with your pharmacist if you have any questions.
- Be confident. You are in charge of your TMJ management, your doctor is your coach. Educate yourself, be on time for your appointments, weigh your doctors opinion carefully and most important…it is okay to challenge your doctor if you do it in a respectful way.
Do you have any tips to share that make tackling the health care system easier? Let us know in the comments below!