Written By Paisley Hansen / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Imagine you are going to see a new doctor. She has great reviews and an immaculate record, but you are sitting in the parking lot outside her office, overcome with a familiar feeling of reluctance. You've had doctors that look nice on paper before. Some of them have let you down.
Perhaps a few only cared to address your weight, or they didn't believe you about your pain. You want to trust your new doctor, but it isn't easy.
Here are a few things to keep in mind that you can use to help build trust with your next doctor.
Notes can make all the difference to build trust with your doctor
Many patients can get easily sidetracked or feel rushed during an appointment. Writing down detailed notes about your health issues and keeping them with you for your appointment can be quite useful, whether or not you are one of those easily flustered types.
Having your talking points in front of you can make sure the appointment covers your true concerns and stays on topic throughout the discussion with your doctor.
Notes also help when you have a complicated or long-term problem that you need to address. Even small details can be of paramount importance to a doctor in her strategy for helping you improve your health.
Detailed logs of intensity, duration, triggers, and timing of medical issues will be invaluable to your doctor's plan of care, and she will be no stranger to taking notes. She won't poke fun at you for wanting to be as accurate as possible in describing your woes. In fact, that is the best resource she could ask for.
It is your doctor's job to understand to build trust with patient
No need to be an expert in Life Sciences to communicate your struggles. It is the job of your physician to make sense of your symptoms. However, she cannot do that if you do not give her the full picture, no matter how embarrassing or odd.
It can be difficult to disclose some things to your doctor, but the only way to get the help you need is to be as thorough and as honest as possible in discussing your health concerns.
No matter how silly or shameful your fears for your health and well-being may seem, your doctor is there to help, not to judge. Short of active harm to or from others, nearly everything you discuss with your doctor remains confidential.
You can even safely seek help with substance abuse, though there are some limited legal exceptions that can vary by state. No doctor worth your time will ever laugh at or tease you for what you are going through.
Your doctor has seen it all before
In general, there is nothing you can tell your doctor that will send her running away screaming. At worst, she might be a little disturbingly intrigued by a strange condition, but odds are she's seen it before, many times.
This is good news for you because she knows what normally works and what doesn't, and she can better help you with this knowledge. Doctors routinely encounter harrowing medical conditions. Their seeming lack of emotional investment is simply a necessary facet of performing their job as a healthcare professional.
Sometimes, though, the need for detachment can hinder communication. Doctors can seem dismissive and jump to solutions that you know don't work, and it can be hard to speak up on your own behalf when this happens.
However, it is necessary to be your own best advocate so that your doctor listens to your concerns fully and completely. Leave no detail undescribed and no former treatments unmentioned.
Doctors often seem like they are in a rush, but your appointment is your time, and you must remember that you deserve to be listened to and believed. This advice may seem like quite a bit of work, but trust is a two-way street. So long as you hold up your end, your doctor should have no problem with hers.
Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral care, skincare, body care and foot care. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, and growing young. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym. She loves hearing from readers so feel free to contact her through Facebook.