A Comprehensive Partnership With Your Physician: A Patient's Responsibility
By Marjorie Marcus, MSW
In the past, doctors took the lead and patients typically followed without question. These days, a good doctor-patient relationship is a partnership. So here is what you can do to make your physician visits as productive and effective as possible.
Create a list before your appointment. This will make it easier to fully cover what it is that brought you to your doctor, and ensure that you do not forger any problems or issues you want to discuss. The list should include the following information:
A list of symptoms
This list should include, but not limited to, aches and pains, trouble sleeping, anxiety, moods. Are you sad all the time? Are you more confused lately? This list ensures that you give your doctor an accurate account of what is occurring in your life, mentally and physically. Include when these issues started, how often and how long they last, what makes them better or worse. Be sure to explain how these issues affect your daily activities.
A list of your medications
ALL medications should be listed; non-prescription, herbal remedies, vitamins, even eye drops should be included on this list. Better yet, bring your medications to your appointment. Include dosage, how often and times of day you take these medications. Make sure to note any side effects.
An outline of your daily activities
Be honest when discussing these activities. What do you enjoy doing? How often do you exercise? Do you smoke and/or drink? Describe your sex life. How do you sleep? What and how often do you eat?
Describe any life changes
Examples of these are divorce, death of a loved one (including pets), or a change in living arrangements. These life changes can cause stress, and stress affects our health.
This comprehensive approach of sharing complete information is key to developing a solid doctor-patient relationship. By being open, honest and detailed about your medical and personal condition, you and your doctor will be working together to formulate the comprehensive care plan you desire.
Written by Marjorie Marcus, MSW, a Client Care Liaison for American In-Home Care. Originally published in The Villager's Voices Publication, Palm Coast, FL. Sept. 2015
Contact American In-Home Care today at 1-844-505-0004 for your free, no-obligation consultation. We will work with you to match the best care provider and determine the right care options for you and your family.