How to communicate effectively with your healthcare provider- By Janice Williams

Medical-Checklist

Developing a healthcare team is very important. One of our number 1 team members is our doctor also known as our PCP (Primary Care Physician). Usually we go to our doctors if we are sick or for our yearly visit. Some things that your doctor may go over when you go see him include: medication, vital signs, lab work, medical history, if you have traveled outside of the country, weight, height, any diagnosis or any changes with any of them. This can be a lot of information in a short period of time so why not be prepared when you make your visit to your doctor.

Below are 5 ways to effectively communicate with your doctor on your next visit.

  1. Write down all questions you have for him. The visit will be short and sometimes you will forget the most important things.
  2. Bring all medicines, prescribed and over the counter with you, even bring the medications that you are taking that are prescribed by another doctor. You can be at risk for a medication reaction if he is not aware of everything you are taking.
  3. Let your doctor know what you are allergic to even if its foods.
  4. Know a little about your history. One of the tools that a doctor uses is using your family’s medical history. Nobody knows the diseases, habits or significant medical information about your family but you.
  5. Develop a communication tool. On a blank sheet of paper write down your name, allergies, family history, current medication, surgeries, and questions and put a place for a date on it. Bring this every time you visit the doctor. This will create a continuity of care and will help the flow of the visit especially if you are seen by one of your doctor’s partners or nurse practitioners. Effectively communicating with your doctor will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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