Unlike any other academic major, it can take between 10 to 14 years to become fully licensed and a practicing doctor. They spend 4 years as an undergraduate, another 4 years in medical school, and 3 to 7 years in a residency program. It’s a shorter or longer period, depending on the specialty chosen. A lot of hard work and money goes into becoming a doctor. Looking from the outside, people forget the amount of effort it takes to become a competent physician, making it one of the toughest careers to pursue.
As patients, we don’t have to make it even tougher on them. After all, they all made a vow to do their best to help the sick. So, how can we pay them back? Find out here how to make life easier for your doctor.
1- Be Prepared for Your Appointment
Both your time and the doctor’s time are valuable. When going in for an appointment, you have to explain and describe your ailments in a few minutes. That could lead you to forget some important points. If you want more minutes, you can schedule a double appointment that will give you more time to spend with a doctor. Either way, write down your questions so nothing slips your mind.
Go into your appointment with a list of your symptoms, when you started experiencing them, medicines you might have taken for your ailment, other current medications you’re taking, and previous medical reports. This is especially true if it’s your first visit to a particular doctor. If it’s not, your doctor will have your records and information, but you will save valuable time if you just bring it along. You should also know more about your family’s medical history as you’ll be asked about that. All the information will help your doctor to form a treatment plan to help you as much as possible.
2- Don’t Play Doctor
We don’t want to guess how many people use the internet to diagnose themselves! Since we don’t want to guess, we found out that 44% of American adults skip going to the doctor because of costs, and depend on the internet. It was also found in the same survey that 15% start experiencing stress and anxiety after self-diagnosis.
While information and knowledge is a great thing, when it’s in worrying hands, it’s not that great! The information online is mostly generic; it might or might not apply to your specific case. If you’re searching around to learn some fancy, medical jargon that’s fine, but it doesn’t mean you understand. Once you’ve had a fair chance to talk, it’s time to listen to your doctor. Physicians base their treatments on symptoms, test results, medical knowledge, and experience; not on the general information on the internet.
3- Get Digital
The healthcare field has taken quantum leaps into the digital world so there’s a high chance your doctor deals with medical and non-medical issues of their patients, digitally.
Patient files and medical histories can be pulled out easily, and digitalization facilitates the coordination between patient and doctor and between several doctors if you have to receive help from different specialists. Patients can upload their medical history to a cloud server and share the information with their doctor. Also, medical wearables can measure your pulse and heart rate, for instance, in real-time that you can share with your physician.
On the non-medical front, doctors have to spend a lot of time on administrative tasks which takes up time away from attending to patients. Concerning medical billings, doctors can use this useful information showing them how they can outsource their medical bills. Different schemes that this works for can be: No gap, known gap, bulk billing, veteran, and work cover.
4- Everyday Health Risks
Everyone lives and works in a different environment. It’s not expected that a doctor knows about your particular environments that could have a hand in what is causing you medical issues. When a physician knows more information about your home, workplace, and social environment, this helps to identify the root causes of illnesses, offering different avenues of treatment for a doctor to look into.
Everyone can come up with a list of potential health hazards that are in their everyday life. Falls, accidental poisoning, burns, and other types of injuries can be fatal and are caused because some places and items in your home are hazardous. The same is true of your workplace and the community you live in.
When this sort of information is made available to doctors, it helps them eliminate certain factors that would not be related to your cases. They can start to pin-point why your health is being adversely affected.
It goes without saying that listening to your doctor’s instructions is the most helpful thing you can do. There is no point in going to a doctor if you’re not going to listen to them. Not following recommendations are costly and can have dire consequences for you. The next time you have a doctor’s visit, help your doctor to help you.