How to discuss your health issues with your doctor

Doctors

By pH health care professionals

As medicine gets more complicated, not all doctors practice in the same way. Different doctors might know more about natural or holistic methods; other doctors might know the latest, daring surgical methods. More patients are preparing for their doctor visits with medical research studies, WebMD printouts, and emails to other doctors in the same specialty.

So what can you do?

 Here are some pointers for having an intelligent discussion with your doctor about your health care needs:

  • Consider the age of your doctor. Older doctors have seen everything and are often more confident in their diagnoses, while younger doctors know the latest protocols and methods. If you want to consider a relatively novel treatment, consider seeking youth.
  • Read. Read the boring medical studies that pertain to your medical condition, and read blogs and websites that make a point of using scientific evidence (like this one!). Ask a statistics-savvy friend to help you interpret the studies.
  • Be prepared for your visit. That means organizing your lab tests and notes from previous doctors. If the doctor has to spend the whole visit figuring out your medical history, you can bet that there won’t be an in-depth analysis on the merits of taking vitamin B12 shots versus gabapentin, for example.
  • Take it all in stride. Your doctor doesn’t want to insult you or brush you off. She’s simply giving a medical opinion. If that opinion flies in the face of everything you believe, seek a second opinion.
  • Calm down excited family members. While it’s nice to have your spouse or parent there for support, listening to two people talk excitedly at once while trying to diagnose and take notes can be a headache for anyone. Take turns speaking, and give the doctor time to record what you are saying so it gets taken into account.

With adequate preparation and organization, you should be able to discuss complex medical decisions in a meaningful way.  

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.

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