Be a Good Patient
It's easy for patients to gripe when their doctors are rude, arrogant, and perpetually late. But patients can be problematic, too. To get the most out of your doctor, you have to do your part in this vital relationship and be a good patient. That means you should always arrive on time and call the office to let them know when you're running late.
As the patient, it's important that you communicate openly and honestly with your doctor. Ask questions whenever you're uncertain. Listen closely to what your doctor tells you, even writing down what he says, if necessary. Don't allow yourself to get sidetracked by irrelevant information, which will waste everybody's time. If you don't like a treatment she suggests, say so and ask for alternatives. And pay attention to your doctor's body language. When he starts glancing at his watch, he may be subtly telling you that he's running late.
Bring a notebook to your appointment and take notes. It's easy to forget some minor detail during a visit, so jot down anything that you think might be important. Some doctors may even allow you to tape-record the visit — just make sure to ask first. Anything you do to help you recall the information will spare your doctor the aggravation of follow-up phone calls and questions later on.
Also, be sure to follow through on what your doctor tells you to do. If he asks you to get a blood test, do so promptly. If she asks you to take a medication, take it exactly as she specifies. It's upsetting to doctors when patients ignore their directions.
Finally, be polite but firm. Doctors are more likely to dismiss an angry patient who becomes rude and hostile than one who is unemotional and assertive. You'll be more likely to be heard if you present yourself in a calm and professional manner. And remember to pay your bill on time. Prompt payment is part of your end of the bargain and will ensure good treatment at later visits.
All good relationships take effort on the part of both people in order to make things work. As the patient, you have to do your part to ensure a smooth relationship with your doctor. Keep in mind that the doctors you work with will be the same ones you see through the years as you continue to manage and monitor your thyroid disease. A strong and trusting relationship will help ensure that you stay healthy.