In my last blog post I talked about the key qualities to look for and develop with your doctor or primary care provider, but of course there are two sides to every interaction. Now I want to look at the Patient-Doctor Relationship. I emphasized the importance of education and the origin of the word doctor being the Latin docere meaning to teach. Given all the time you’ve probably spent sitting in doctor’s waiting rooms you might well think that the Latin word patient would mean waiting, but it fact it means suffering. Because we are often unwell, or stressed, when we visit the doctor, it is advisable to prepare for the interaction before we get sick.
So what does it take for you be the best patient?
Here are some suggestions:
Checklist for Being the Best Patient or Student of Health
- Know your rights – personal, medical and legal.
- Prepare for your visit with your questions written down and needs clarified.
- Communicate clearly so that your needs can be addressed during your visit.
- Be responsible for understanding the business side of your relationship with your doctor and medical practice.
- Learn about the office’s policies and expectations.
- Be ready to provide the expected information and payments.
- Be respectful of the doctor and staff.
- Be sensitive to their time; assume that everyone in the practice is busy and doing their best.
- Be honest and responsible.
- Be willing to adapt as your health and healing change, and adjust over time.
- Let go of past negativity with previous doctors or the healthcare system so that you can be present with your doctor.
- Keep a positive attitude towards healing and others.
- Trust in your own healing abilities.
- Expect and visualize positive results.
- Take responsibility for your health, and following through on the recommendations that you accept as correct for you.
- Stay Motivated!
Think about your responsibilities as a patient and assess how well you are doing, using the list above as a guide.