Phyllis Schieber Author

Women's Fiction by Phyllis Schieber

Lorene Burkhart Shares “Tips to chart your doctor patient relationship”

Women normally have to take control of the medical decisions for the family. We know that can become more complicated as we mature and our health concerns are more varied and complicated.  Lorene Burkhart, the author of Sick of Doctors? Then Do Something About It!, share tips to help us get more control over health care for ourselves and our families.

Tips to chart your doctor patient relationship

Lorene Burkhart

How many of you have ever been either sick of your doctor or sick of the system? It hurts, doesn’t it? As painful as it may feel, reality is it is up to us—the patient—to figure out how to work with our doctor by developing our own bedside manner. How? As a women in my 70s I’ve learned the hard way what it takes to develop a solid relationship with my doctors. I’d encourage you to try these tips.

1) Shop for Your Doc

Let’s think for a minute about the three parts of the medical system. They are the patient, the physician and administration – hospitals, insurance, pharmaceutical companies, etc. Which of these three do you think wields the power? Probably none of you guessed the patient because you have let the system make you feel powerless. But think of it like this – doctors would not have a business without us. So shop!

Ask for a “Meet and Greet” appointment. Usually 15 or 20 minutes is all you need. Bring your list of questions starting with, “Tell me about yourself.” (It might be a good idea to tape it because you probably won’t remember all of it.) Expect to learn about schooling, attitude regarding off-office hour calls, number of years in practice and even references. Remember, you are the customer. You have choices!

Not comfortable? Keep shopping. You have choices!

2) Speak Up!

In a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, diabetic patients who were taught to be more proactive with physicians ended up feeling healthier and actually being healthier. Within a month of learning to become more involved and willing to negotiate with their physicians, the patients showed statistically significant improvements in their blood sugar control without an increase in medication.

Afraid to speak up? Why? What do you think will happen? The doctor will fire you? I don’t think so.

What are you supposed to say to the health professional? What have you told everyone within shouting distance about how you, your child, your spouse, your family member feels? Speak up and tell the doctor!

2) Be Prepared

Another study at the University of California at Davis discovered in a group of more than 500 patients that the major determinant of patient satisfaction was “patient activation.” That means patients asked questions, initiated discussions about what was going on with their health and discussed topics of importance—even if they were unrelated to the medical visit.

So what it comes down to is being prepared and honest with your doctor.

Take with you a clear, concise explanation of what you think are your medicinal issues. Doctors are scientists. They want the facts. Instead of saying… I think I have… describe your symptoms in factual statements. I have been coughing and my throat is raw. The doctor is the expert. Let him or her hear your problem and come to their professional conclusion.

One way I keep myself prepared for medical visits is with my own medical notebook for those times when I go visit a new doctor. It’s not fancy. It’s my medical history, tests and so on. When doctors need background—it’s all right there.

Join us on the Sick of Doctors? Then Do Something About It! virtual tour. To learn more about the tour, visit http://bookpromotionservices.com/2010/04/26/sick-of-doctors-tour/. You can also learn more about Lorene Burkhart and the book at http://www.burkhartnetwork.com/. If you would like to be a host on this tour, contact nikki @ nikkileigh.com

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June 7, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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