Communicating With Your Surgeon
You are in a health partnership with your physicians, so you need to be an active participant in your care. Here are a few tips for communicating with your physician:
- Be organized when you arrive for your surgical consult. Come prepared with information about your symptoms and be prepared to discuss your lifestyle and habits.
- Bring a list of medications you take or bring the actual medication bottles. If you're bringing a list, be sure to note dosage strength and how often you take each medication.
- Take the time to write down a list of questions you may have about your symptoms or condition. Take the list with you when you speak to your surgeon.
- Be prepared to talk about your family's medical history, as well as your own, including any major medical events. Bring a list of your immunizations and medical history, if possible.
- Make sure you provide your physician with complete information about your condition. This may mean relating some very personal information, but it is in your best interest to help the physician determine the best course of treatment.
- Ask questions. If you don't understand the answer, say so. The more you know, the more secure you'll feel when it's time for you to make important decisions.
- Before your appointment is over, briefly review what's been discussed and make sure you understand everything.
- Have more questions? Ask them! If there's something you forgot to ask your surgeon or the clinical staff, don't be afraid to contact them and get your question answered.
- Be assertive, but not aggressive. If you are unable to understand the answers to your questions, ask your surgeon to please use layman's terms, not medical jargon.