Be Proactive

Research shows that patients who have good and consistent relationships with their doctors are more satisfied with their care – and have better outcomes. Here are some suggestions to start off or enhance your relationship with our providers – doctors, physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners.

Give information.  Don‘t wait to be asked.
  • You know important things about your symptoms and your health history. Tell your doctor what you think he or she needs to know, even if it makes you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.
  • Bring a health history list with you, and keep it up to date. You might want to make a copy of the form for each member of your family.
  • Always bring any medicines you are taking, or a list of those medicines (include when and how often you take them) and what strength.
  • Talk about any allergies or reactions you have had to your medicines. Include herbal medicines.
  • Bring other medical information, such as test results and medical records.

Get information.
  • Ask questions. If you don‘t, your doctor may think you understand everything said.
  • Write down your questions before your visit. List the most important ones first.
  • You might want to bring someone along to help you ask questions and remember answers.

Take notes.
  • Let your doctor know if you need more time. If there is not time that day, perhaps you can speak to a nurse or physician assistant on staff. Or, ask if you can call later to speak with someone.
  • Your doctor may have brochures or other materials that can help you. If not, ask how you can get them.

Follow up once you leave the office.
  • If you have questions, your symptoms get worse, or if you have problems with your medicine, call.
  • If you had tests and do not hear from your doctor, call for your test results.
  • If your doctor said you need to have certain tests or see a specialist, make appointments to get them done.
  • Remember, the single most important way you can stay healthy is to be an active member of your own health care team. Take an active role in all of the decisions made about your care.