How to Get the Best Out of Your Doctor

How to Get the Best Out of Your Doctor

Make sure your family is getting the most out of visits to the doctor with these tips.

There’s nothing worse than seeing your children sick. Add that to the other things you have to do, there’s no time to do anything but help them get better. But when a trip to the doctor is in order, be sure to keep a few things in mind:

Give Your Doctor a Chance
You’ll find there are benefits to building a relationship with one doctor, but occasionally it is a good idea to seek a second opinion.

Carefully select a Family Doctor and a Pediatrician
Parents likely choose a pediatrician before delivery of their baby, but if not, a referral from friends, colleagues or your general practitioner can guide you. Try to find one who is located close to home so you can get there quickly if you need to.

Make a List
Make a list of questions to take to the doctor’s office. It’s difficult to talk to a doctor and look after your sick child at the same time, which makes it easy to forget the questions you wanted to ask. A list will help make the consultation more efficient and reduce the need for a follow-up phone call.

Keep a Medical History
Keep an account of your child’s medical history and always take it to appointments. Create a personal health file for your child containing different results from all the doctors they have seen.

Do Your Own Research
If your doctor says something that seems unclear, ask for precise answers. Do some research, and then ask for his opinion on it. You might not be a medical doctor, but you know better than anyone if there is something wrong with your child. An expectation of being informed communicates to your doctor that you expect a thorough evaluation.


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Be Confident and Assertive
Insist on an adequate response, and don’t be scared to say you’re dissatisfied or don’t understand something. If your doctor makes a judgment without examining your child or even looking at his medical history, ask why. If he gives you a medical prescription and doesn’t explain what it is for, request an explanation. You have the right to this information.

Show Appreciation
When your doctor takes the time to examine your child carefully, considers the case history, patiently listens to what you have to say, prescribes treatments that work or takes time to speak to you when you call in an emergency, show your appreciation. Doctors work long hours and often get little thanks for the many lives they help each day.

Make the Most Out of Your Visit
Participate in decision-making on matters affecting your own or your child’s health.

Be given full and accurate information about the nature of an illness, diagnostic procedures, treatment — and the costs involved.

A strong relationship between your doctor(s) and you always ensures great treatment and open communication. It’s your right to be honest and frank — doctors would prefer knowing the full truth about a condition to begin with — and expect the same thing from them, so don’t be afraid to ask anything. With the right balance of personal and professional respect, you may even have a lifelong relationship!

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