How to Protect Yourself With a Doctor

Here’s a dilemma that affects anyone who has ever been sick, injured, pregnant, or even just actively involved in a yearly check-up: your doctor has credentials and medical expertise. You have the body in question. How many of you know more about what’s going on in this body?

The doctors are excellent for the most part. They are smart, experienced, and ready to help you through the confused mess of the American health care system. However, in this confused mess, there are many other patients who should also have access to doctors; Aside from being busy, they also cannot magically know how you are feeling or thinking. You must accurately describe your symptoms, problems, and treatment goals, but they must listen to you and take you seriously.

If your healthcare provider isn’t listening to you, you have options. Here’s how to protect yourself at your doctor’s appointment.

Do the right research from your doctor

This is, of course, tricky because your insurance may only allow you to go to a specific service provider, but if you have options to choose from and the problem you are facing is not a life or death emergency, it is worth spending time to look up to any potential doctor.

“My clients seemed the happiest when they worked with a doctor who shared their values. This means that the patient will have to do less field campaigning, which can be difficult during labor, labor and the early postpartum period, ”said Suzanne, a former Brooklyn doula who declined to give her last name.

There are several websites that can help. Think Rate My Professor or Yelp, but for the people prescribing your medications, writing your recommendations, or dumping your broken bones.Health assessments , physician reviews , and MD assessments allow clients to screen health care providers and healthcare professionals. If you make an appointment through ZocDoc , you can also read and leave reviews there. As with any service, remember that your mileage may vary. There is no guarantee that the person writing the rave review is not the doctor’s daughter, or the person who slaps the practitioner is not their enemy for life.

Call the office and ask a few questions. You have the right to find out if the values ​​and general atmosphere of the establishment are compatible with your own, and to look for a place where you will be comfortable, even on your first visit.

See your new doctor if you don’t like your current

If you unexpectedly find yourself in the emergency room or the doctor’s office you examined is unsuitable in person, you are fully allowed to change provider.

“It can take a lot of work to switch, but it will be easier in the long run,” Suzanne said.

Annie, a 22-year-old social behavioral therapist who also declined to give her last name, agreed. The former sports student told Lifehacker about the myriad knee injuries she suffered while playing lacrosse.

“After the second injury, I returned to my first surgeon due to a cotton in my knee. Before that, I had already torn something in my knee, so I was familiar with this sensation and was sure that I had torn it again. When I entered, the doctor bent me at the knee and said that I was fine. I told him that I knew he was torn, but he insisted that I was fine and said that he could not do anything. After I asked for an MRI but was refused, he said, “Pain has a mental aspect. Have you ever considered talking to a psychiatrist? I left immediately and made an appointment with another doctor. Three days later, I had an MRI, and they told me that my meniscus was torn, which required a procedure, and a hook was inserted into my knee, ”she recalls.

If Annie hadn’t seen another specialist and confirmed that her meniscus had been torn, she could have faced more severe pain, mobility problems, and more invasive surgery in the future.

Understand When to Trust Yourself

All of this suggests that there may be times when you are unable to do comparative research or find a new doctor. For example, if you live in a small town or have a relatively unique health problem, you might simply find out what – or who – you are getting.

“If you can’t switch, remember that this person is working for you. While there is a dynamic of strength built into the typical doctor-patient relationship (imagine waiting alone in a room to see the doctor for five minutes), they are here to take care of you, and your comfort should be their top priority. Remember that this can change roles and help patients remember their freedom of action in a situation, ”said Suzanne.

She advised that you write down your questions, comments and concerns before you enter, because “white coat syndrome is real and it is easy to forget about things that you want to discuss during a meeting.” Take notes at the time of your appointment, or if your doctor agrees and local laws permit, write it down so you can remember exactly what was said and how it was said. If a doctor denies you a drug or test that you are requesting, make sure they clearly write on your medical records that they are giving it up so any future provider will know.

Annie added: “I would advise you to always listen to your body, because no one knows it better than you. If you really think something is wrong, don’t stop looking for answers until you know what the problem is. “

Remember Suzanne’s thought: a doctor works for you. Don’t be shy or afraid to speak up. Do it firmly but kindly. Your goal is to work together to understand the roots of your symptoms or develop a care plan that works for you and is possible within that provider’s skill set. This will only happen if you both communicate. You are important in this situation and always, and do not forget about it.

Suzanne had great advice for all doctors reading this, so we end with this: “Treat the doctor-patient relationship as a human relationship. Listen and show compassion. Become aware of the biases and distortions that you bring to your practice. Make sure they don’t interfere with your treatment. Listen to as many of the most marginal voices as possible. Each patient is a connoisseur of his body. By fusing the innate wisdom of the patient’s body and your medical experience, good healing can occur. ”


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