Developing a Relationship with your Doctor
What kind of doctor-patient relationship style works for you? Do you see your doctor as a partner or a consultant or an expert?
Working with your provider to develop a relationship that you both feel comfortable with is the next step. It's important to trust your own reactions when deciding whether this doctor is the right one for you. But you also may want to give the relationship some time to develop. It takes more than one visit for you and your doctor to get to know each other.
Choose a Relationship Style
Choose a relationship style and discuss it with your doctor. People have different styles of relating to doctors, and those styles may change at different times or for different illnesses.
In the "traditional" doctor-patient relationship, the doctor leads and the patient follows. For some, this is effective because they feel secure and cared for. Others may view their relationship as more of a partnership, where both contribute to the decision-making process. Some prefer to make decisions and use a doctor primarily as a consultant. This style requires diplomacy by the patient as many doctors have not adjusted to the role of consultant.
None of these styles is right or wrong, but they all make different demands upon the relationship. It’s important that you let your doctor know which style you prefer. As you become more familiar with HIV and experience different health challenges, the doctor-patient relationship style that works best for you may change.
Adapted from www.projectinform.org