By Ilana Jacqueline
1. Be sweet.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m interrupting my busy day to walk into a crowded waiting room full of other sick people, to deal with a secretary who is unhappy with her life choices, and then see a doctor who has .5 seconds to treat me, I don’t feel like smiling. But you know what? I do. Because the alternative is to grumble, fail to interact with others, ask 10 times when the doctor will be ready, and be exhausted with frustration by the time they call me back. Be kind to the secretary who will fast track your file. Be kind to the patient next to you; learn their story, and tell them yours. Be kind, because it isn’t worth your energy to complain about it.
2. Remember you’re there to get answers, not empathy.
If you’re going to get emotional, get a therapist. Sure, whatever is bringing you to this appointment is either stressful or painful or both, but it will not benefit you to cry, have a panic attack, or scream. It will just distract you both from the short amount of time you have to solve a complicated problem.
3. Send your information ahead of time.
Your doctor won’t have time to and wouldn’t be able to digest a binder full of medical documents in a short appointment. So unless you’re going to the Mayo Clinic or to another doctor who has specifically asked for you to bring a copy, bring your own voice or, at most, a one-page timeline of your disease and treatment.
4. Show that you’re educated.
Why waste time having a doctor explain your own disease to you if you already know it? Use the medical terms you know, recognize any positives or negatives in your treatments so far, and discuss medications you have researched and may want to try.
5. Stick to your goals.
Even as the conversation veers from one hypothetical to another, make sure you always come back to what you came in for. For instance, if you came in to learn about taking one medication, come out of that appointment with either a prescription or a damn good reason why you don’t have one
Reprinted with permission from Let’s Feel Better www.letsfeelbetter.com