For Better Care, Avoid Making These Mistakes In Your Doctor's Office

You rely on your doctor to provide you with care and address any medical ailments that come up. Your doctor will do their best to provide good care, but your behavior as a patient does have an impact on the level of care they are able to provide. In order to get better care from your doctor, avoid these common mistakes during your appointments.

Mistake #1: Not telling the truth.

It can be so tempting to lie or stretch the truth a little, especially if you are talking about something embarrassing or a health condition that you think might be your fault. However, your doctor needs all of the right information you can possibly provide in order to give you a correct diagnosis. If you stretch the truth and say "I only eat butter once a month or so" when you really eat butter once a day, for example, you may derail your doctor's diagnostic attempts.

Mistake #2: Self-diagnosing.

Most people Google their symptoms and try to figure out what's wrong before visiting the doctor. This is understandable, and it's okay to tell your doctor you read about a certain disease and are wondering if that could be what's wrong. What you should not do is walk into your doctor's office and say "I figured out that I have diverticulitis." Leave the diagnosis to the professionals.

Mistake #3: Failing to ask questions when something is unclear.

If you do not understand something that your doctor says, stop them and ask them to clarify! They want you to understand their explanations and instructions, and there is no shame in admitting you need more of an explanation. You do not want to take the wrong dose or the wrong medication because you didn't stop and ask your doctor for clarification. 

Mistake #4: Not telling the doctor about medications and supplements you are taking.

Make sure you tell your doctor about any and all medications you are taking. This includes over-the-counter medications, and it also includes any supplements. Even natural, herbal supplements can cause side effects and can interfere with other medications that your doctor may prescribe, so you need to be thorough in listing these meds and supplements for your diet.

If you are able to avoid the mistakes above when visiting your doctor, you will get better care. Your doctor will be better able to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend the best treatment for you.