This is a guest blog post written by Health Activist Mark. You can follow Mark on Twitter @markjohn1.
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I’ve been asked numerous times “how I deal with my doctors?‘ and because I deal with about five different doctors, I think it’s a reasonable question from friends and others.
I always tell people the same thing: I don’t talk to the doctor’s, I talk with them. Huge difference.
If you’re even a little like me, you don’t want to the doctor to talk at you. You want your doctor to talk with you and for you both to come up with a plan. I feel like I have some great ideas and insights into my body and I should have some say.
I always ask others this question, “when you walk into your doctor’s office, does he see a model of DNA or you as a person?” This is a very big question because if your doctor looks at you as a model of DNA then he goes by a book and isn’t looking at you as your own person. In my eyes, this is a major mistake in doctoring.
So let’s talk strategy.
- Have a Plan
- Present the Plan
- Put Plan into Action from Both Sides
Let me put these points into perspective for you. One thing to remember is this works for a new doctor as well as for a doctor you’ve been seeing.You just need to speak up and let them know it is time for new negotiations for your health care.
1. Have a Plan
Making a plan is simple, but delivering it is something else. Sit down and write what you want from your health care provider. Some examples are:
I want to be a partner in my health
I want to feel free about speaking my mind
I want to be recognized as a person (not DNA) who knows their body
2. Present the Plan
This is pretty simple. I believe doctors would like to know up front that you want to take part in your health care, at least from what I have seen. Although when it comes to your current doctor of a few years or longer, this is where finesse comes into play.
You also need to be considerate of your doctor’s feeling a little. They have been taking care of you for some time and feel they have done a great job of keeping you healthy no matter what you think. The thing is, don’t be afraid. Let it out there and tell them you have done your own research and you feel it is time you took part in your health care. By you doing homework, you are helping them help you.
3. Put Plan into Action from Both Sides
Once the doctor agrees to your plan it’s time to put it into action. Don’t delay on this move. Go into that office that day prepared to partner up with your doctor, not just talk about it. As they say, actions speak louder than words. Action, Action and more Action. No delays.
Once the plan is in place and running you can always adjust it as you both see fit. Key word is both. You are now a partner and you both should agree on the plan of action.
But Is Your Doctor Hearing You?
How do you know if your doctor is listening? Well that comes with knowing your doctor. I happen to have a female internist who listens to me as well as I listen to her. By listening to her and letting her know I heard her correctly, she is inclined to listen to me with interest when I speak. Respect! I’m telling you it works both ways.
Take the time to listen even if you don’t like what you hear and then repeat back to them what they said and explain why you don’t like it. Do not be afraid or intimidated. Remember even though they are a doctor and went through years of school they still put their pants or dress on the same way you do.
Remember this is your life and your future. What that doctor is telling you to do is so important to your quality of life. Your lifestyle is yours, not someone else’s. Don’t let anyone, even a doctor, take that away from you.