Anybody who’s had an unpleasant doctor’s office visit at some point, this one’s for you.
The truth is, doctors are like so many other working professionals today—they have considerable pressure on them to increase output and juggle multiple responsibilities. Sometimes the result is a lackluster experience for the patient (you and me). But it’s by understanding this reality that we’re able to better partner with our doctors, become better advocates for ourselves, and become better consumers of healthcare.
So here are the top 5 things that you may not know about your doctor—
YOUR DOCTOR MAY ONLY HAVE 8 MINUTES FOR YOU
While your doctor wants to spend time with you, crazy schedules, crowds of patients and other system pressures make it difficult. Studies show that you only have about 8 minutes with your doctor. Make each one count.
Doctors don’t go to med school to ignore patients. In fact, your doctor wants to partner with you in your healthcare. But he or she doesn’t know if you want a partner. Tell your doctor you want to be involved in your care and to share in the decision-making process.
YOUR DOCTOR IS LIKELY TO INTERRUPT AFTER 10 SECONDS
Your doctor isn’t being rude. He or she is trying to help you as quickly as possible. Although studies show that doctors interrupt patients after about 10 seconds, you can get your doctor’s attention by telling a compelling story up front.
YOUR DOCTOR IS WAITING TO POP THE QUESTION
Your doctor is likely to ask a series of “yes” or “no” questions. It’s part of basic medical training. However, real answers often hide in the gray areas. Don’t hesitate to veer from the “yes-no” path and add your own open-ended responses.
YOUR DOCTOR WORKS IN A SYSTEM WHERE 34% OF DIAGNOSES MAY BE INACCURATE
On top of that, as many as 68% of treatment plans require a correction. Do everything you can to make sure your diagnosis is the right one, including having a fresh set of eyes review your case, like a Best Doctors expert specialist. Many physicians expect patients to seek a second opinion and often welcome the collaboration.