Forming an open and long-term relationship with your physician and/or medical provider regarding your health care is critical in terms of insuring your health care needs are met.
Patients can help their primary care physicians by making sure they have an open and honest dialogue at the time of their visits. Providing a list of all medications a patient takes; or better yet, taking all of your medication bottles along to your office visit will assure the doctor has the correct medical information in your record. This information is critical for assessing any additional medications that may be needed in the future.
Patients can also help their physician by writing down all of their questions prior to their office visit so that they get the answers they need at the time of their visit. It’s easy for anyone to forget all the questions that may come to mind during any given day……just jot them down and take them to your next visit. This way the doctor can address your health care concerns during the visit and not while you are going out the door when the doctor may seem rushed. Additionally, bringing a relative or a friend to the office visit as an extra set of eyes and ears may be useful during and after the visit.
With the advent of the Internet, patients can access medical information quickly. With an overload of online sites and purported experts, its essential for patients to review only credible Internet sites. While most of the medical information is credible, having a open discussion with your physician can render a different view based upon your own personal medical condition and/or medical history.
It’s also important for patients to keep track of their medical history, even if it is an informal log of their treatments and medications. Getting copies of reports such as x-rays, labs, and/or other medical reports for your personal records is recommended. A 3-ring binder works well for maintaining these copies and any notes you may have from your visit or from a telephone discussion you may have had with your physician.
Your physician always has your best health in mind, and the best medical advice is given when you and your physician have an open and honest dialog regarding your health care