Your relationship with your primary care physician can be a long and fruitful one where your physician does everything possible to make sure that you are heard and understood. For this reason, it is important to take steps to build a great relationship with your primary care physician so that he or she can better understand and help you.
Make Your Agenda Clear
Make sure that you have an agenda and that your primary care physician understands your agenda. Is your goal to lose weight? Is your goal to no longer have back pain? Bring up your concerns to your physician so he or she can put a treatment option into effect that will help you overcome these medical problems. Make sure to create a list of questions before you go to the doctor in order to be prepared so that the visit is as productive as possible.
Be very honest with your primary care physician. Your physician will not judge you and it is necessary that the physician understands your lifestyle in order to be able to help you. Your physician must be informed about your:
- Drinking habits
- Sexual activity
- Whether or not you are taking your medication
Your doctor needs to be able to deliver bad news, such as when you need to make changes to your diet in order to protect your health. While it can be difficult to change lifestyle habits, your doctor is on your team and there to help you succeed.
Discuss Your Culture
Inform your doctor about how your cultural beliefs and practices may influence the care that your primary care physician provides. For instance, your physician may be able to offer different treatment options if the current treatment plan is not compatible with your beliefs. If your physician understands your culture, he or she will better understand you and this will help your relationship flourish.
Discuss Alternative Treatments
Bring up alternative treatments that you would like to try. More and more patients are using complementary treatment options. There are some alternative treatments that are research-based and your physician can help guide you toward the treatments that are the most likely to achieve your goals. Discussing anything about your health will improve your relationship with your physician and will help you feel more comfortable coming to him or her with any medical issues that you are struggling with.
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