These factors can make it difficult for people to find a good doctor, and even to get excellent healthcare once they’ve found one. Many people see a new doctor after months or years without personal care. They may have a whole host of issues and questions, and a busy doctor’s office can be the hardest place to communicate these. This happens for a lot of reasons. Some people have terrible “white coat syndrome”, causing them to forget important information, self-censor, and express themselves poorly.
Others find it tough to assert themselves in a setting with such a busy professional person as a new doctor, especially if they’ve only just met. This phenomenon is present when new patients see general practitioners, or specialists like Dr. Kathy Glatter. But there are ways to make the most of a first appointment with a doctor, after you’ve found a good one.
- Make A List. Days before your first visit, make a list of everything you want to ask your doctor. If it has been awhile since you last saw a general practitioner or specialist, make this list over several days so that as things occur to you, you can write them down and make sure they are addressed.
- Be Curious. If you are seeing a cardiologist like Kathy Glatter, for instance, don’t be afraid to ask questions that don’t (seem to) directly pertain to cardiology. All physicians go through the same foundation of medical school. Even if you have concerns that aren’t related to a specialist’s specialty, he or she will likely know something about it, perhaps offering a unique perspective or a helpful referral. Who knows? Maybe the issue you are expressing is actually related to their area of specialty, in a way that you didn’t anticipate. By being silent about questions and problems, you don’t do yourself any favors.
- Be Confident. Most doctors are courteous and professional. But let’s face it, they work long hours and have lives of their own. There are times when they’re tired and stressed, and this can impact their demeanor with patients. Don’t be intimidated. Speak your mind, get the answers you need, and make sure the doctor is “present” in the room with you. If this can’t be achieved, despite your confident communication, you should find a new doctor.
Finding a great doctor isn’t a cakewalk. But once you’ve found one, there are still challenges to receiving great care. Do the above and you should get the most out of your new doctor/patient relationship.
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