Communicating With Your Surgeon
You are in a health partnership with your doctor, 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, how long you have had the
symptoms, etc. and be prepared to discuss your lifestyle, habits, etc.
- Bring a list of medications you take (or the actual medication
bottles). If you're bringing a list, be sure to note dosage strength and how often you take each
- 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 doctor with complete information about
your condition -- don't hold back. This may mean relating some very
personal information, but it is in your best interest to help the doctor
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 some 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
- Be assertive, but not aggressive. If you are unable to understand his answers to your questions, ask him to please use layman's terms, not medical jargon.