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4 Tips for Communicating with Doctors

Posted by Greenwald and Gerke on January 9, 2020
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These days, when you visit your doctor, you’ve probably noticed they use a computer to help them accomplish their work. While these digital age machines are incredibly helpful to physicians, many patients feel they hinder their ability to communicate with their doctor during their scheduled healthcare appointment.  If you’re worried that your communication with your doctor is suffering, here are four things you can do to make sure you’re getting through.

  1. Ask Questions: When your doctor is typing on their computer while you are explaining the purpose of your visit, most likely, they are actively listening and taking notes about your concerns. If you need a little reassurance that they are hearing you, try asking an interactive question where appropriate. Ask things like, “Should I be concerned? What do you think? Does that make sense?” etc. This will invite your doctor to respond to what you’re saying and help you to make sure they understand you.
  2. Be Prepared: Doctors must see more patients each day than they did in the past. This pressure means they don’t have as much time to spend with each patient. You can improve your communication by organizing your thoughts and concerns before your appointment.
  3. Order of Importance: Focus on the top three concerns that you’re needing help with and talk about them one at a time in order of importance. Try not to overload the doctor with a quick list of ten problems and expect them to be able to remember and adequately take notes in the short amount of time they are able to spend with you.
  4. Perspective: Remember that doctors have always taken notes for reference and patient medical records. Although they used to take them by hand, they now take down their notes on computers. That does not mean they are any less attentive.

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