Improving Your Relationship
“ How can I improve relations with my doctor? ”
If you don’t feel at ease with your doctor, it is important to discuss this with him or her and explain if something doesn’t suit you. Be up-front about what you expect from the doctor (if you need to know more, seek reassurance etc.). Say how you feel (anxious, frightened etc.). Before changing your doctor, it’s worth taking the trouble to dispel any awkwardness by steering the dialogue towards your respective feelings and expectations.
- Take time to pinpoint what is wrong in relations with your doctor (see the practicalities). You and your doctor stand side by side against the illness affecting you, for which your doctor is not responsible. He or she is there to listen and help.
- Don’t be intimidated by your doctor or by medical language and expertise. Give voice to your hopes and fears, and raise any objections and questions. All this will help your doctor understand you better and adapt the explanations given.
- Don’t play the "good patient"! Make your thoughts and feelings known. Raise any doubts and describe how you feel (angry, frustrated etc.). This will defuse any conflict, enhance relations and build trust.
- Even if you are not feeling yourself, you are still the expert on your body. No one is better placed than you to talk about your symptoms and how you are living with your illness. Explain to your doctor how the illness and treatment are affecting your quality of life and describe your beliefs and fears about the illness. Your experience will help your doctor improve the process of your treatment.