Fifty years ago, health care was a much different experience than it is today. Medicine was certainly not so advanced, but doctors were much more accommodating of their patients. For example, if your kids were sick, the doctor would come to your house, at any time of the day or night to attend to them. The “bedside manner” was taken seriously.
Today, doctors are so busy, you’re lucky to get three minutes of their time during an office visit! One person weighs you, another takes your blood pressure in the room, and then the doctor whisks in to make a quick assessment and writes a prescription or orders this or that blood screening, and then they’re gone. Many times, we have health questions or other concerns, but feel rushed and just take the prescription, leaving puzzled and unsure.
Although the doctor may see your symptoms of pneumonia or arthritis on a daily basis, you don’t, and feel fearful of some aspect of your condition, needing answers to health questions that the alloted time of your appointment doesn’t allow you to explore.
If you’ve made an appointment to see your doctor for anything other than a routine visit, you’ll benefit by doing a little research prior to your appointment.
The net has many reliable sources of medical information and the latest studies. Get on the net and do a little investigation. Let’s say your joints ache when the weather is cold and you have stiffness in your hands. Everyone would recognize a possible association with arthritis. There are several types of arthritis and what do you really know about this disease? Check several medical websites and see what you can find out about your symptoms.
As your investigation proceeds, you’ll come up with a number of health questions your doctor can answer, so long as you prepare a list of these health questions prior to your appointment.
Perhaps you’ll find an article which details a recent study showing that cold water fish in the diet seems to benefit people with aching joints. Make a note to ask your doctor about this.
As you add to your list of health questions and other concerns, you’ll feel more confident about your visit and the outcome. Instead of the doctor issuing a few “I see” remarks, leaving you clueless, bring your list of health questions pertaining to your condition. Be thorough, so that when you leave the office, you feel that you understand your options, condition and possible treatments, including dietary changes.
When you arrive well prepared, with a list of health questions, your doctor can answer your questions, leaving you with a more secure feeling and a good grip on what you can do for yourself to improve your condition. Your doctor’s prescription will probably resolve the problem, but it’s always comforting to know you have an understanding sufficient to help yourself.
The moral to this story: never leave for the doctor’s office without a list of relevant health questions in hand.