Here are some tips to help you partner with your physician to ensure the best cardiac care available. When coming to your physician visit:
- Write down any questions you may have.
- Be well prepared and organized.
- Keep your questions very specific.
- At the beginning of your visit, let your doctor know that you do have a list of very specific questions so that you are giving your doctor a “heads up” of what to expect.
Bring a trusted friend or family member with you.
- They can help decipher the information and take notes during the visit.
- You can also ask your doctor if it is okay to record the conversation.
Communicate and collaborate respectfully with your doctor.
- Present your questions in a clear and succinct manner.
- If your doctor interrupts you, or if you feel you are being rushed and you did not get time to ask your questions, calmly and politely let your doctor know that you have specific questions that you would like to have answered before the office visit ends.
Listen carefully what your doctor is saying.
- If you don’t understand something, politely ask your doctor to explain it in simpler terms.
Before leaving the office, make sure you are absolutely clear about all the information you receive.
- It is important that you understand any instructions and the treatment plan given to you.
- If any medications are prescribed, make sure you understand them exactly.
While many of these points seem like common sense, many patients are nervous at their visit and may not get the most out of the information given. These are good reminders for enhancing doctor/patient relationships and encouraging positive outcomes.