10 ways to be a better patient

Posted on February 18, 2015
Originally posted in Healthy Communities, Winter 2015

  1. Know your genes.
    Find out as much as you can about your family health history.

  2. Be informed.
    But also don’t play doctor by self-diagnosing. Discuss with your doctor any information you’ve researched.

  3. Be prepared.
    Know your insurance plan and medications,and think about the reason for your doctor visit.

  4. Prioritize.
    Write down any concerns and symptoms before an appointment so you’ll talk about what’s most important.

  5. Bring an advocate.
    If you think you’ll be nervous or won’t understand, bring someone with you.

  6. Speak up.
    Say what’s really bothering you in the first five minutes of your visit—not when you’re going out the door.

  7. Be honest.
    Answer your providers’ questions truthfully. Don’t cover up your symptoms or slipups.

  8. Ask questions.
    If you don’t understand or need more information, say so.

  9. Take action.
    If you don’t hear back within a reasonable time, follow up on the status of test results or appointments, or
    medication prescriptions.

  10. Follow the doctor’s orders.
    Take medications, do exercises, follow treatment advice, etc., as directed.

The information written about in this blog is not intended to be medical advice. Please seek care from a medical professional when you have a health concern.