When we’re sick, all we want, is to be left alone! However, sometimes we would need to visit a doctor to relieve some pain or even just check some vitals. That alone can be a hassle for some people. We may sometimes catch a doctor in a bad mood or even just create a negative atmosphere from the way we feel. Here are a few tips to follow to get better attention from your doctor.
Before you see your doctor, take a deep breath and only release it after you feel it completely fill your lungs. The slower your breathing, the slower your heart rate, the calmer you are.
Be Friendly/ Understanding
Good doctors have bad days too! Don’t assume that all doctors are always friendly. They deal with a lot of pressure and have to make tough decisions all the time. They are only human, and if they feel pressure they might exert it by being rude or sarcastic, or simply just staying quiet. That is much better than bursting in anger or just completely ignoring you. Tell your doctor that you understand that they need to send an urgent message or email, or talk to a nurse to update her on the latest patient. Be friendly with his/her stress, he/she is doing the best he/she can to fit you into his/her schedule.
Prepare Some Questions
Sometimes when we are in pain or are sick, we don’t really know what to say or forget by the time we get to see the doctor. Sometimes we are too sick to even deal with anyone, or sometimes we are afraid that the doctor will be impatient with us when we ask about other things concerning our health. Most doctors actually prefer that you ask more questions. You can prepare some questions beforehand and write them down to remember to ask your doctor when you get to see him/her.
Watch the Pen
Pro tip: Some doctors prefer to have something in their hands, usually a pen. Watch as the doctor points the pen downwards, that’s when he/she is ready to diagnose you and write up a prescription. Make sure that you intercept that by asking your questions, or demanding explanation about your case before the prescription is written.
Rehearse Your Symptoms
When we want to tell someone something, we usually have a habit of rehearsing what we need to say in the mirror or run it through our mind. Especially when we know exactly what we want to say and what treatment we want to get. Knowing your research and your symptoms is something that most doctors love to hear about. They know that you likely researched it before coming to see them, and really put some thought into the different treatments available to you. That not only helps you get the best from your doctor, but actually makes their job easier.
Speak Your Mind
Your intuition is your secret weapon. You are the only person who knows and understands your pain. If you feel the doctor is wrong about something, tell them what you think, they may not have paid much attention to the issue. However, don’t make your doctor feel like they made a terrible mistake, keep the conversation civil and don’t dramatize the situation.
Write Up A List of Your Medications
The more information you provide your doctor, the better chance you have of receiving the best possible treatment and diagnosis. Write up a list of all the medication you take and share it with your doctor, this allows them to know what you’re already taking and to not mix any others with them. If you suffer from an allergic reaction and suspect that the reason was a medication you tried, take it with you for the doctor to see its ingredients and uses. This can also be helpful to let your doctor know that you have a stock of certain medication at home, and he/she does not need to prescribe anymore of it to you, wasting your time and money.
Write Up A List of Your Illnesses/Symptoms
Much like the tip about rehearsing your symptoms, writing them down can help you remember them and in turn help you communicate them to your doctor. Many of us neglect to let our doctors know that we have “certain diseases” that we hide. whether you have a chronic illness and require constant care or treatment, or you have a recent illness or issue such as constipation, the doctor must know about everything to give you the best treatment for your case. Remember, each person has their own sensitivities, what works for you might not work for someone else. Therefore, the doctor must be aware of any and all information concerning your health to effectively treat you.
Face to Face
Try to get face to face interaction with your doctor as much as possible. This of course includes initial visits and follow ups. Meet your doctor before taking an initial consultation about your issue. The more you get to know the way they work, the safer you would feel trusting them with your health.
No Technology Exam Room
When you walk in to see your doctor, the best way to ensure that he/she will not ignore you and greet you well is if you do it first. Make sure your phone is away and on silent to let your doctor know that you are giving him/her your full attention. Once you do that, it is highly likely that they will give you the same treatment and interact better with you!
Don’t Waste Your Time With Unhelpful Staff
Waiting for your appointment or waiting to see a doctor, who is a little busy, can be very frustrating. However, talking to the nurse or the receptionist will not help you get there any faster. If it is clear that the nurse or receptionist has no control over the doctor or the clinic, and is not deliberately being rude to you, then don’t waste your time and energy arguing with them. Unhelpful staff can really just not know what is going on, as much as you, and when you argue with them and not accept the fact that the doctor is busy (when he/she clearly is) then they are less likely to help you! They are humans after all!
Understand Your Rights and Use Them
Almost every clinic in Qatar is required to post up the rights and responsibilities of the patient and the client, make sure the next time you’re waiting for the doctor, that you go over it and understand your rights as a patient. These rights are created by the Ministry of Public Health for your safety. Not only should you understand them, use them if you feel that there was misconduct. There are complaint numbers and emails on the posters themselves, or you can talk to a managing director at the clinic!
Understanding your doctor will help you get the best attention from him/her.