Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
Medicine is a two way street—one in which both you and the providers have responsibilities to uphold for a successful long-term relationship. If you're trying to find the best doctor for you, look for these clues in their behavior, and then look at your own actions to make sure you're giving them a fair shake.
What your physician should do
He or she should have a good bedside manner. This matters to your health. According to a 2005 survey in the Annals of Family Medicine, people treated with respect and dignity are more inclined to follow recommendations and also seek preventive care.
He or she should allow you to talk. If you feel like you can't talk fast enough during your appointment, this is a problem. 72 percent of physicians interrupted their patients' opening statement within an average of 23 seconds, according to Whole Living, who referenced a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
He or she should collaborate with you. The best medicine and happiest patients materialize with a collaborative relationship, which requires a willing provider and an invested patient.
What you should do
Bring your data. Show up with numbers. It's impossible for your doctor to help you with your diabetes when you don't have anything to show him or her.
Be honest. Yes, this means providing your uncensored history, even if it's "bad."
Ask questions. Think about your questions prior to the appointment and bring them with you. Many people lose their train of thought in a fast-paced appointment, leaving with questions lingering.
Verbalize expectations. Interview your new provider to see if they will be a good fit. Can you communicate between appointments via email or have Skype visits if you are at a distance?
Be nice. There really isn't a good reason to chew anyone out. Take a deep breath, organize your thoughts, and approach the front desk with respect. You'll feel better about yourself and get much better end results.
Like your provider or move on. We all have different personalities and communication styles. If yours isn't jiving with your doc, shop for another.
How do you feel about your doctor? Share your thoughts in the comments below.