24 Aug Use These Tips to Improve Your Doctor’s Office Visits
Today’s public view of the medical field can seem a bit ill-natured. Patients are unhappy. Doctors fear being sued. The field itself is changing in such rapid ways that patients and physicians are unaware of what they can expect during a routine check-up. Insurance woes have also added an undue burden to the shoulders of both the doctor’s office and patients adding to the negativity.
The independent physician used to feel a sense of self-rule within the walls of his or her private practice. Today, most of these offices are actually owned by big businesses that control the area’s major hospitals. Another cog in the system, that pride of ownership is all but gone, making doctors feel like just another white coat.
However, changes and unknowns do not mean that patient-doctor relationships cannot remain effective. Instead, a system that has developed simply asks that patients become more aware of their health situations.
These tips can help you make better, more constructive use of your doctor’s office visits and ultimately lead to a quicker recovery time.
Stick to one office or one individual doctor to build a trusting relationship
We’re not trying to discourage you from seeking a second opinion should you feel one is necessary, what we’re suggesting is that rather than skipping around trying new doctors on for size so to speak, that you choose one doctor for your care. This will help you become well-established with one facility and alleviate the need to have to repeat yourself or have medical records and insurance information sent to a number of places. This also helps build an all-important rapport with your physician.
Check the importance of arriving early and find out how early is expected
This is an incredible tip for many reasons. One, if you have paperwork to fill out you can show up early and have it done before your actual appointment time. That way when your appointment time arrives the doctor can see you immediately without being delayed by administrative processes. Secondly, in many offices if you show up early you could very well end up being seen before your actual appointment time. It never hurts to try, right?
Pay attention to the doctor’s routine for an effective visit
Different doctors do things differently. They have their own styles and habits just like anyone else. It’s a good idea to get to know your physician’s routines and mannerisms as sometimes these can be misconstrued as a physician being callous, mean, uncaring, or disinterested when really this is just their personality and how they present themselves while in a professional environment. People handle stress and general life situations differently…doctors are no exception. It’s good to have that level of patience and understanding in a doctor-patient relationship.
Be respectful of their time and the visit, which means ditching the cell phone
This is a big one right here and this one applies anywhere you are doing business with someone. Be respectful of your time and theirs and put your cell phone on silent or in your purse or pocket. Keeping your attention focused on the doctor’s visit means you can express your symptoms more accurately, your doctor can listen more attentively and give you a more accurate diagnosis, and you can better remember your doctor’s instructions for care. Plain and simply put, your health comes first…your phone can wait.
Like any system, the key is often a level of efficiency within a theme of politeness. Take the time to learn the names of the staff, treat them with respect, and they will most likely do the same. This means being kind both in person and on the phone. Speak directly but take the time to listen.
Dr. Sue Reddy specializes in the treatment of infectious disease among many other specialties. She understands what is required to live a healthy, active life. Please feel free to take a look around her website and if you feel she provides services you may be interested in, give Dr. Reddy a call. Her staff would be more than happy to set up an appointment and answer any questions you may have.