Doctors sacrifice many years to training, they work long hours, save lives, and do all this while trying to manage their own personal lives. A doctor’s time is a precious resource, so they need to make every minute count. There are few things most doctors want their patients to know, that can benefit their health, and also improve the doctor-patient relationship.
Develop a long-term relationship
Forming a long-term relationship with your doctor is the most important thing a patient can do to obtain better medical care. Patients who frequently change doctors tend to have more health problems and spend more money on treatments, than patients who have a consistent relationship with a single physician.
Don’t miss appointments
Your doctor is busy for every minute of every day. So, when one patient is late or misses their appointment, it disturbs the schedule for everyone else. Respect your doctor’s time and try to reach at-least 15 minutes before the appointment. If you’ll be late or need to cancel your appointment, let the doctor’s office know.
Take your medicine
Not following advice or prescribed treatment is the top complaint doctors have about their patients. Follow instructions when taking medication. If you do not take your medicines as your doctor prescribes, you might reduce the chances of improving your condition, and your doctor will never know whether the medicine is effective.
Follow-up appointments are important
Some patients feel they are fine now, and don’t need to spend the time and effort to see the doctor again, just to get a prescription. Follow-up appointments are important for another check-up and to make sure a medication is working correctly. Also, don’t expect the doctor to renew a prescription over the phone.
Maintain your medical records
Keep track of your medical history yourself. Keeping a filed record of treatments, drugs, notes from previous doctor visits, and tests and procedures, is very helpful for the doctor.
Search online, but carefully
Information is important, but accurate and reliable information is more valuable. Do not start a treatment on the recommendation of a website. Multiple illnesses have similar symptoms, and starting the wrong treatment may actually cause further harm, so always consult a physician. Taking the help of a medical professional to interpret your symptoms is the best way to find out what might be affecting you.
If you are not feeling well during the appointment, it may be difficult to remember the treatment and follow-up instructions. Take notes! You will find it extremely helpful to remember what the doctor discussed and what you must do next. Also taking a friend or relative with you to pay attention can help.
Doctors are also human
If doctors are not on time or not their usual self – remember, they too are human. Like you, they also have good days and bad days. They too are affected by life’s problems – work, family, finances, health, and so on. Don’t be harsh in judging and criticizing.
Show respect and appreciation
Be respectful and courteous to your doctor, and expect the same from him or her. If an appointment is running late, don’t be rude. If an employee behaves badly, don’t argue, tell the doctor. The doctor and his staff work very hard. They want the best results for their patients. Do acknowledge your appreciation with a big ‘Thank You’. Everyone likes to be appreciated.