Have you ever left a doctor's appointment feeling frustrated? Like you didn't get answers to your questions, or even worse like the doctor wasn't really listening to you? It's a common problem for patients to walk away from an appointment feeling passed over and unheard.
At Orchard Hospital we want our patients to have the best experience possible and leave feeling understood and empowered. Our fantastic staff help make that happen every day. There are also steps a patient can take to make their experience better. Below are some tips on how to turn a potentially frustrating experience into a successful one and get the answers you're looking for.
A good doctor's appointment starts before the actual appointment. Make sure you document any health issues and symptoms you've been having. Take note of details and specific timelines. This can give your physician a much clearer picture of what's going on. It's also important to get regular checkups so there is a baseline of health history to compare against.
Let's face it, discussing personal health details can be uncomfortable. Patients tend to be more vague about symptoms that they consider gross or are uncomfortable talking about. You're not doing yourself any favors by holding back, you're actually making your doctor's job harder. They have heard it all before, so don't be shy and talk openly about any symptoms, types of pain, or discomfort you're feeling.
Ask Clarifying Questions
Most doctors think they are clearly explaining things to their patients, even when they are not. They deal with complicated health issues every day, so it's easy to forget that most of their patients do not. It's OK to say "I don't understand" and ask follow up questions to get clarification.
Be Your Own Advocate
When you feel like you're not getting answers, be assertive. Circle back to a question that went unanswered and ask it again, or rephrase it. When you feel like a health practitioner is being dismissive of your symptoms, you can say something like "This is not normal for me." If you really get frustrated with a doctor who you feel like just isn't hearing you, don't get emotional. If you accuse a doctor of not listening to you, it is likely to trigger a defensive response and shut down communication altogether. Instead try saying something like "I don't feel like we are understanding each other." This makes it clear that there is miscommunication going on, but avoids placing blame.
Following some of the tips above can help doctors and patients communicate better and leave both with a better understanding of the situation. If you're looking for a Doctor that takes the time to listen to you, visit the Medical Specialty Center – Your Everyday Health Care Clinic – at Orchard Hospital. Walk-ins are welcome. Open 7 days a week. It’s our goal to have fast and friendly care while delivering quality health care.
Our mission at Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior health care. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.