Finding a doctor that you are comfortable with and can trust is a real concern for many Americans today. Horror stories of rushed appointments, doctors serving profits first, and misdiagnosis are the main reason for anxiety and worry surrounding a doctor visit. A veteran health journalist for Readers Digest offers some trust building tips for all of us.
#1 – Doctors can spend several hours a day on computers inputting data on your medical record. You can ask permission to read those notes.
#2 – Ask your doctor for his/her cell phone number. Ask if the office has an online patient portal and if they have someone that help you to use it.
#3 – Many websites can show how much money your doctor is receiving from pharmaceutical companies. This may be a beneficial thing to look into.
#4 – Ask your doctor about getting a second opinion and if the doctor gets irritated, it is definitely a red flag.
#5 – Connect with the medical team on a human level. Bringing small gifts liked baked goods is a great to show your appreciation. Also ask how they are doing.
suggestions by the health journalist that are “trust but verify”
- See the same doctor every time
- Ask about the office policies
- Share your concerns, especially diagnosis and treatment plan
- Do your own research on mayo clinic.org, hopkinsmedicine.org, uptodate.com as well as family and friends
- Check credentials, info on malpractice or discipline on docinfo.com. verify certification on certificationmatters.com
- Ask about financial conflicts such acceptance of pay from pharmaceutical companies for promoting their products, financial interest in imaging center, surgery center or special medical equipment.
- Set up a face-to-face meeting with office manager.
when it comes to your or loved one’s health be a proactive advocate.