Doctors are busy, we all know that. But what happens when you go to a doctor about something that is bothering you but
Surveys have shown that most people don’t have a problem with their doctor’s actual care, but nearly 80% have a problem with the way their doctor communicates.
But how do you get your doctor to really, really listen?
The key is going into your appointment with a story, rather than just a list of symptoms. Instead of saying my back hurts, tell the story of it. Explain how long ago it started, what you were doing when you first felt it and what it felt like, and how often you feel the pain. Jot down some notes before you go if you have trouble remembering what happened. But you need to be honest and accurate. Things like drug and alcohol use can impact on your health so it is important to always tell the truth.
If you still feel like you’re not being heard, speak up. Say politely, “I’m worried that we aren’t communicating well, and I feel that it is important for you to hear my whole story”. Consider taking a friend or family member to your appointment for support and as an extra ear to pick up information that you may miss or ask questions you may have forgotten about.
Nobody knows your body quite as you do, which is why effective communication between you and your doctor is vital if you want to receive the right diagnosis and avoid unnecessary tests.
For more information see our slideshow, Misdiagnosis: Righting the Wrong.