Seeing our primary care physician is a normal part of life. Whether it’s for your annual check-up or you’ve got a case of the stomach flu, your doctor is always there to advise you on what’s best for your health.
However, there are some things that our doctors wish we knew. It’s not like they can just tell us “Hey, you should stop diagnosing yourself using WebMD,” but we can use our common sense. Here are those secrets doctors wish we knew.
1. They want to be your doctor long-term, not short-term
Your primary doctor wants to establish a life-long relationship with you. They want to get to know you inside and out (literally) and be able to advise your health decisions in the most helpful way possible. We all know firsthand that sometimes you and your doctor just don’t get along well and you have to switch sometimes. However, if you can get ahold of a doctor who’s right for you, stick with them! They want to help you out.
2. Take mental or physical notes during your appointments
Taking notes reassures your doctors that you won’t forget their advice. It also reassures them that you actually care about what they’re telling you. Many patients don’t take physical notes, but instead, take mental notes or ask their doctor to write down anything they might forget (like the name of a prescription). If you don’t already take notes during your visit, you may want to start!
3. Respect is huge
As patients, we always expected our doctors to be kind and courteous to us. Well, respect goes both ways. Doctors expect the utmost respect from their patients as well, to establish a healthy, doctor-patient relationship long-term. Doctors know that sometimes a patient may not understand fully what they are saying, but appreciation and respect go both ways.
4. Don’t believe everything you read online
We are all the kings and queens of diagnosing ourselves with brain cancer because we have a headache (and WebMD told us so). Doctors say that it’s a good thing to educate yourself about symptoms of potentially severe illnesses, but it’s never a good thing to believe everything it says. Your primary doctor knows a lot more in addition to what’s best for your health than a website does.
5. They aren’t short on time because they’re slacking – they’re just busy
Your doctors are extremely busy. In addition to that, if they’re a fantastic and well-known healthcare physician, they may be booked solid (or double booked) that day and running behind. Besides keeping up with their patient appointments, they also have a slew of insurance paperwork that needs to be completed each day. They really aren’t making your appointment late or cutting your appointment short on purpose.
6. For the love of God, please take your medicine!
Many doctors have to deal with an unhappy patient who refuses to take their medicine or comply with their doctor’s medical advice, thus causing the patient to feel worse. It’s a vicious cycle. Literally, all you have to do is take your medicine on time and refill the prescription when necessary. Otherwise, this makes your doctor’s healthcare regime for you a lot more difficult.
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