Mistakes People Make With Doctors

By David Spero | October 1, 2008 4:53 pm

I just finished reading the responses to one of Jan’s recent blog entries ("Blowing My Top [If Not My Chai Latte]") about the criminal lack of communication some health-care providers give patients and families. It seems that many doctors do not give patients even basic information, or tell us how to get it.

So how can we protect ourselves and get the care and information we need? Even the best doctors and other professionals need us to be fully active and involved in our treatment. And many doctors (as the comments on Jan’s entry show) are not all that good, requiring us to be even more active.


What Can We Do?
Here are some common mistakes people make with their doctors. I’ll give some ideas on how to avoid them, and I hope you will contribute your own ideas.

What about you? What techniques or attitudes have worked in your relationships with doctors? What hasn’t worked? Please share your experiences by commenting here.

Here are a couple of good Web resources on communicating with doctors:

  1. “Speaking Up for Myself,”: http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/David_Spero/Speak_Up_for_Myself
  2. The Art of Getting Well: http://www.davidsperorn.com/the_art_of_getting_well.htm
  3. University of Iowa Health Topics: http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/medicaldepartments/familymedicine/communicatewithdoctors/index.html
  4. About.com Patient Empowerment: http://patients.about.com/od/doctorsandproviders/Choosing_and_Communicating_with_Doctors_and_Other_Practitioners.htm
  5. Getting What You Need at a Doctor’s Visit : http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/family_health/children_and_youth/pdf/hrtw-doctor_visit_tips.pdf
  6. New Health Partnerships: http://www.newhealthpartnerships.org/PatientsPeopleInCirclePrint.aspx?id=64&linkidentifier=id&itemid=64

Source URL: http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/mistakes-people-make-with-doctors/

David Spero: David Spero has been a nurse for 32 years and has lived with multiple sclerosis for 25 years. He is author of two books: The Art of Getting Well: Maximizing Health When You Have a Chronic Illness (Hunter House 2002), and Diabetes: Sugar-coated Crisis – Who Gets It, Who Profits, and How to Stop It (New Society 2006). He writes for Diabetes Self-Management and Arthritis Self-Management magazines. He is a project director with New Health Partnerships: Improving care by Engaging Patients, a project of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

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