- Question from Fay: When I go to my doctor, I always take a list of questions with me because I don't want to forget anything important. I get the feeling from my doctor that he thinks I am making up some of my symptoms because I have them written down. Am I doing something that offends doctors?
- Answers - Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. In general, getting a list of questions at the beginning of a visit is very helpful, because it helps the doctor structure the visit, especially because time is often limited. However, getting a list of questions at the end of a visit can sometimes throw a physician off: As we feel we're wrapping up, it turns out we haven't even started to meet your needs. That can be frustrating! But presenting a list of symptoms, concerns, and questions is really the only way to make sure you get your needs met during a follow-up visit. You could certainly ask your doctor how s/he feels about your list. Explore the subject with him/her.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. If the questions you're asking seem to be coming from a variety of sources, rather than just from you, it is possible that your doctor might respond with some hesitancy. S/he may not know where you're coming from. Don't be defensive if these questions are, in fact, coming from different sources, such as other doctors on your health care team, relatives or friends. That's OK. In fact, it may be helpful to the doctor to know where the questions are coming from so that s/he can best answer them.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called The Doctor-Patient Relationship featured Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about how to find the right doctor for you, and how to create and maintain a good, open relationship with your doctor so you can be sure to get all the care and information you need.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2003.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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