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How Can You Best Communicate With Your Doctor?

Steve Gregg

The relationship you have with your doctor is a very important part of maintaining good health.  Read below for some tips to make the most of your time with him.

Be honest and up front about your symptoms and health habits.  While some conditions, such as incontinence, may feel embarrassing to discuss, your doctor needs to know what you are going through so that he or she can help you.  Open communication is best and telling your doctor the type and severity of your symptoms can help in developing the best treatment plan for you. 

Be prepared. Sometimes it’s hard to remember everything.  And when you are discussing several topics with your doctor in a short window of time, it’s not surprising that some things may get left unsaid.  Being prepared helps.  Keep good records of your symptoms (our bladder diary and ABL conversation starter can help!) and make a list of all the things that you would like to discuss with your doctor before your appointment to ensure you don’t forget anything.

Be assertive.  Your doctor may be the one with the medical degree, but you know your body best.  If something doesn’t feel right or you are struggling with a treatment, speak up!  There may be different options you can try that might work better for you.

Have regular communication.  As with most things, prevention is key.  Seeing your doctor regularly for check ups and keeping him abreast of any symptoms or conditions you may be experiencing is well worth it. 

Ask your physician about alternative methods of connecting.  In this day and age, doctors communicate with patients in all sorts of ways, not just on the exam table.  Ask your doctor if you are able to email him to check in or ask questions.  Most offices have nurses on call to help you with questions over the phone.  There are even services that allow you to chat with a doctor online and receive a diagnosis and treatment plan right from your living room!

Have some more tips on staying in touch with your doctor?  Share them in the comments below!

Allergan Foundation/Communicate with your doctor