I have worked with hundreds of patients over the years, and I find a common complaint-after a visit to the doctor, they complain to me that the doctor didn’t address their issues, or they weren’t satisfied with the time spent (doctors were too hurried), and they didn’t get their questions asked. Here’s a few tips, courtesy of Howard Bruce Beckman, MD, at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry-he has written more than 50 articles on patient-doctor interaction.

1. Make a list of subjects you want to talk about. Although this seems obvious, most people don’t give it a thought until they are on their way. When you think of an important subject, write it down! Write down your symptoms, how long you’ve experienced them, and any other details you think are important.

2. Clarify upfront what you hope to accomplish from the visit. If you don’t clarify up front what you want to accomplish during the visit, important points are likely to be missed.

3. Be direct-the old saying “give it to me straight, Doc”, is important-don’t be afraid of what he might tell you. Most likely, it’s why you are there in the first place.

4. If you are referred to a specialist, ask the doctor “what do I have to do to prepare for my visit”. Only 10-20% of specialists receive info from your doctor. Ask you doctor what the specialist is like-many are brilliant but have less than ideal bedside manners.

5. Voice your complaints. Few patients ever give their doctors feedback. Remember, they are people too. If you are too distessed or intimitated to speak to your doctor, write a note.

Remember, you are paying their salaries, they work for you. They are aan important part of your health team. If you are not satisfied, choose another doctor-you are the boss.

Have a great workout day.

Stay well, John R. Blilie, M.S.