Despite their best intentions, your GP is just like the rest of us. They misinterpret, they can be misunderstood and sometimes even mess up.
It’s a common situation where physicians and patients see different things in different health cases. While what matters most to you is to preserve your health ability to enjoy a glass of wine every night, your GP may be focused on lowering your risk for more serious complications.
Doctors always have the best intent, but that doesn’t guarantee they will recognize your greatest need. In order for them to know, they encourage you to ask questions, and here are some of the questions they want to hear from you.
- “Do I have other treatment options?”
Doctors have the tendency to choose for themselves the best treatment for you. If a treatment sounds too invasive or you just prefer some other method, ask if you have other treatment options. With today’s technology, there certainly is more than one treatment option for almost any health condition. Let these be a shared decision-making process by asking your doctor about treatment alternatives.
- “How will it change my lifestyle?”
You may assume that things will go back to normal after a treatment, though the truth is that it may not or may take some time. If you know the outcome ahead of time, it may change your decision of going through a treatment. It’s important to ask your doctor about symptomatic results to expect.
- “What can I do to improve my condition?”
Your lifestyle choices, such what you eat, how much you sleep and whether you smoke account for 75% of your risk for diseases. This factor also helps you recover from an existing health complication. However, many specialists do not recommend lifestyle interventions unless you ask about it.
- “Should we do it now or can we do it later?”
GPs and specialists almost always have so many things to do, but so little time in their clock. So, when meeting a patient, they make the most of their time and run all the necessary tests and treatments needed. But sometimes, certain therapies and treatments can wait. Asking your doctor if it’s necessary to do it now will help your doctor rethink and consider if the test or treatment he’s suggesting is needed immediately or if it can wait for a while.
Your doctor is there to help you. Talking with him and asking him questions will give you and your doctor the necessary information about your health condition. Your doctor would love to hear your questions and concerns, which will help formulate the best healthcare plan for you.
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