Tips to force your doctor to slow down and listen

It often feels like your doctor won't listen to you because they are in a rush. They have a lot going on, so they just want to hurry through the appointment and move on to the next thing on their list for the day.

The problem is that a doctor who cannot listen is a doctor who cannot provide proper care. They make mistakes. They overlook key issues. They miss an easy diagnosis. Your doctor has to listen to you to be effective.

So, what can you do to make them listen? Here are a few key tips that can help:

  1. If you have additional questions, just ask. Take control of the conversation.
  2. Don't let the doctor interrupt you. Kindly and firmly continue with what you were saying.
  3. Be respectful at all times. Even if you are frustrated, remember that the doctor is less likely to listen if you don't treat them with respect.
  4. Focus on the main things that worry you. Even if your doctor doesn't think it's a big deal -- they don't think that spot on your skin is cancer, but you do -- telling them what worries you shows them your mindset.
  5. At the same time, find out what information the doctor wants the most. Give it to them up front so that they're not just thinking about that while you're talking.
  6. Don't be afraid to tell stories. Rather than just saying you have pain, tell them how it started, what you were doing and how bad it was.

If the doctor still makes mistakes or won't listen, you may need to look into your legal options.

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Reinig, Barber & Henry - Attorneys at Law

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