Relationships involve a reciprocal process of give and take. Your husband may want time to watch the game, but you want him to take out the trash. You work together and that’s why your relationship works
The same holds true for your relationship with your physician. You know exactly what you want out of him or her, but have you ever considered what is expected of you? In order to make the most of your appointment time, consider what your physician wants.
Your Physician Wants… Patience
Every patient has experience the double standard where you need to be there right on time for your appointment or suffer repercussions, but your physician can be running far behind and that’s ok. No its not fair to you the patient, but try walking a mile in your physician’s shoes. Most doctors aren’t running late because they are lounging in the back, they are running late because they took their time and made sure to provide the best care possible for every patient they have seen so far today. So if each patient took an extra five minutes, it is easy to see why they may be running late. Physicians also need to complete paperwork quickly and accurately in order to receive the reimbursements that not only pay his salary but also pay the wages of everyone in the office and keep the office open so you have somewhere to go. Add on top of that emergencies, “quick” questions and follow-up calls to patients, and your physician may be lucky to get a bathroom break. If you try to be a little more patient with your physician, it will most certainly be appreciated!
Your Physician Wants… Honesty
Without honest communication regarding your health and personal activities, your doctor does not have all the necessary pieces to solve the puzzle. Much like on the TV show House, a small detail that seemingly has not relevance to a situation can actually be the cause of all the problems. You must accept that you don’t know enough about medicine to know what details are relevant or not so you must be honest with your doctor about everything so that he or she can safely and accurately diagnose and treat you.
Your Physician Wants…Your Questions
Much of the physician patient interaction is education. Although physicians try very hard to explain things in the simplest way possible, patients sometimes do not understand. Therefore, it benefits doctors and patients if patients are very forward and ask whatever questions they have. A good physician wants to anser your questions, and will take the time necessary to do so ( which sometimes make them run behind-remember be patient!) Be upfront with your questions- don’t wait until your doctor has his hand on the doorknob. One of physicians main complaints are “doorknob questions”. Asking questions and getting the answers you need will make your treatment much more successful for both you and your doctor.
Your Physician Wants… Compliance
As a healthcare worker I can’t tell you how many times I have seen patients with severe conditions that would have been preventable had they followed their doctor’s orders. Your physician completes many years of rigorous education, and continuing education to be fully aware of the best way to treat your conditions. Then why would you consider their instruction merely advice that you can follow at your own discretion? Physicians are continually frustrated with patients who want help with their problem, but won’t follow a physician’s orders. For your own health and safety, please be compliant with your physician’s orders so that he or she can accurately and effectively manage your care.
Doctors enter the medical profession to help people. But like the old saying goes, sometimes you have to help yourself. Improving your relationship with your physician will provide enormous benefits to your on-going health.
10 years of personal experience in healthcare
What Doctors Want From Patients. How to Cope With Pain. http://www.howtocopewithpain.org/blog/187/what-doctors-want-from-patients/ Accessed April 21, 2010.
What Doctors Want From Patients. Medicine Web.
Accessed April 21, 2010.