Friday, May 20, 2016

Tips and Tricks - Making it MY Doctors Appointment










I'm sure many of us have endured countless doctors’ appointments where we are shuttled into the room, the doctor looks over our test results and then tells us our diabetes is doing "great" or "not so great" and tells us what to do. Frankly, this doesn't serve me as a patient. If my blood sugar isn't great, I basically know what I have to do. I have to do it all day every day. What I really want out of my interaction with my doctor is for them to look to me as a patient for guidance about what I think the issues are and how I wish to proceed. So I use a simple approach to bring the conversation back to me. To both be a good patient and to be a patient clearly at the center of my care.

My approach?





I give my doctor a one page summary as show at the right. It contains my issues and questions right there at the top. I announce to my doctor what I want to talk about and set the agenda. This starts us off on the right foot. We don't have to mess around with the doctor figuring out how they can help me, I tell them how they can help me. And rather than posing these as "commandments" which is how a doctor usually talks to us, I pose these as talking points.

Brian's Patient Summary

And then the next step is to list my current prescriptions and supplements in an organized list. This saves the doctor time and makes me a good patient. I helps our whole interaction to be efficient. Then I list the refills (or new prescriptions) I need. This is a vital interaction. The is an action hit list of things I absolutely need the I'm sure many of us have endured countless doctors’ appointments where we are shuttled into the room, the doctor looks over our test results and then tells us our diabetes is doing "great" or "not so great" and tells us what to do. Frankly, this doesn't serve me as a patient. If my blood sugar isn't great, I basically know what I have to do. I have to do it all day every day. What I really want out of my interaction with my doctor is for them to look to me as a patient for guidance about what I think the issues are and how I wish to proceed. So I use a simple approach to bring the conversation back to me. To both be a good patient and to be a patient clearly at the center of my care.

Do you do something similar with your doctor appointments? Does it help?

5 comments:

  1. Oh that's smart to have a list of questions/summary to give your doctor when the appointment starts!

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  2. I do very similar - Actually, my doctor appointments are whole lot like my parent-teacher conferences - both as a teacher and then as a parent. (Deleted so I could fix a typo!)

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  3. I once wrote out my questions to a cardiologist because I figured he could read faster than I could talk. He read one question and threw them aside and said, "I'd rather do it my way." I fired him.

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  4. I once wrote out my questions. That is how I ended up with my 5th girlfriend. A doctor might work better.

    I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes blog page for the week of May 16, 2016.

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  5. Great idea, Brian. I've done something similar to this for a while now. Seems to help the whole visit experience.

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