Share Your Point of View and Prepare for Appointments
Be an advocate for yourself with your doctor. Do your homework and come prepared to ask and answer questions about your progress.
Share Your Point of View
If something is or isn’t working for you, it’s important to let your doctor know. Being honest about your viewpoint is especially important if you want to enroll in a study or use experimental treatments. Explain why you’re considering a particular decision and listen to what your doctor has to say. Many doctors are willing to work with and support patients who have clearly put some thought and time into their decisions.
Whether or not agreement is reached on particular treatments, proper monitoring through exams and lab tests should be routine. In turn, you should agree to heed reasonable warnings suggested by this process.
If you want certain prescriptions, asking in a friendly tone is likely to work best. If the doctor opposes it, you’re entitled to know why, in clear terms. His or her concerns and knowledge should be given due respect, whether or not you agree with them.
Prepare for Appointments
You can benefit most when a visit is well-planned. It takes only a few minutes to write down key questions ahead of time. Get in the habit of writing down items in a journal about side effects you’ve experienced, missed doses, or any questions that come up between visits. Use it to update your doctor at the start of the visit. Use the limited time in your doctor’s office to focus on the most critical issues, rather than everything that comes to mind. Maybe bring along treatment literature to discuss in the visit. This allows your doctor to know your sources of information and how to evaluate them.