Ahhh, the white coat we doctors wear. (Actually, I dont wear one – it evens scares me!) There’s even a syndrome someone dreamed up called the “white coat syndrome” where people’s blood pressure rises, they start perspiring, and they forget nearly everything they came to the doctor for in the first place. We need to dispense with the white coats.
How can you have better communication with your doctor(s)? And yes, Ma, doctors DO include dentists.
For one, prepare all questions, concerns, and issues ahead of your appointment time and write them down. Yes, write them down. Why? Because you’ll forget most of them when you come in. Having the list helps with complete communications.
Two, take your time and make sure your questions get answered completely. After all, it’s your dime (or at least a portion of it) that’s being paid to the doctor to listen and help you.
Three, don’t let the doctor leave the room without having all of your questions answered no matter how he/she may try to escape. Some are quite slippery, and you may have to ask for them to be called back into the room. It’s not rude to ask; it’s just common courtesy that the doctor must acknowledge.
From my standpoint as a doctor (yes, Ma, I am a doctor), I do appreciate people who are prepared before they come in. It makes me feel like they are engaged and interested in what is going on with them, and I feel better that I am answering their questions and addressing their concerns. Nothing is more important than that relationship.
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