4 Helpful Tips to Improve Your Communication with a Doctor
Do not be afraid to ask when you don’t understand something.
As with any other professional, doctors sometime use their specific jargon when talking about a medical situation. If you aren’t a doctor and aren’t familiar with the jargon or terminology ask for an explanation. Help your doctor explain in layman’s terms what he or she means by asking about something you do not understand.
Bring along a notepad or a recorder.
Don’t expect to be able to remember everything your doctor says; it will help to take notes or actually record your doctor’s voice. Many cellular phones or smartphones today have a built-in voice recorder function. We’re including an app from Microsoft Heathvault that also helps you prepare for doctor visits and includes a recorder.
Bring a relative or someone you trust.
There are clear benefits to bringing someone you trust to your doctor’s appointment. Aside from the moral support, your companion might be able to provide information or details you may have left out. He or she can even be asked to assume an essential role in your treatment.
Schedule a follow-up, if needed.
Sometimes one visit is not enough. If you leave the doctor’s office with unanswered questions or unaddressed concerns, this may add to your worries and anxieties. Schedule another appointment; if the doctor isn’t available, ask him or her who in their office can be of further assistance.