Tips For Communicating Effectively With Your Doctor

Effective communication is one of the biggest keys if you want to have a productive doctor-patient relationship, but while the responsibility for effective communication should fall on the shoulders of the doctor, it often ends up falling on the shoulders of the patients themselves! Because of this, it is important that you know what you will have to do in order to open effective communication with your doctor, as your ability to open this portal of communication will be essential if you want to get the most out of your doctor’s visits.

If you have used the same doctor for years and years, you are fortunate in the fact that you probably have – over time – established some form of “relationship” with this doctor, which makes communication easier; if, on the other hand, you are working with a doctor with whom you have not worked for long, you must realize that it can be easy for their doctors to see their patients as “patients” instead of seeing them as people. Working to establish some form of relationship is the first step to communicating with a new doctor; before you get started with the reason for your visit, make a bit of small talk, showing an interest in the doctor as a person, and they will do the same in turn.

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Another big key to establishing communication with your doctor is listening to them; after they have talked to you, repeat back to them some of the things they said, in order to show them that you are listening.

Finally, if you have worked to establish a semblance of “relationship,” and if you have shown that you are listening to the things they are telling you, look for signs that they are listening to you as well. Even if you have worked to establish a foundation of relationship over a number of visits, and have proven yourself to be a good listener, and have talked to them about your medical issues and your thoughts and concerns, you might find that you have landed with a doctor who is a poor communicator; if this is the case, it is likely time for you to start the search again!

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