Making Doctors

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Grady, PA-C. Cathy M. Heffner, MD. Katherine Jones, PA-C. Natalie Jones, PA-C.

The Return to Literature-Making Doctors Matter in the New Era of Medicine.

Xiaohuan Li, MD. Mark Michaud, MD. Lauren Miglarese, PA-C. Leanne Minnick, PA-C. Stephanie L. Todd Rowland, MD. Kirsten Schiada PA-C. Kristine Scruggs, MD. Fauzia F. Shah, LCSW. Lauren E. Strasser, PA-C. Prathima Surapaneni, MD. Steve Watson, PA-C. Katherine Williams, DPM. Paul Wright, MD. Jessica Lowy, PA-C. Khashana A. Blake, MD.

Executive Staff

Gayani Dasanayaka, MD. Jennifer Galaway, DPM. David S. Rodgers, LCSW. Henry F. Catherine Ferrara, DO. Leah Fleming, PA-C. Mark Giarrizzi, PA-C. Catherine Lee, PA-C. The number of items that your doctor must attend to during a visit has skyrocketed in the last decade.

The advent of the electronic medical record E. If your doctor looks like someone in a s secretarial pool, typing nonstop, welcome to 21st century medicine. Multitasking is not an excuse for poor communication, however, or a feeling of rushing through the visit. You can be aware of and even a bit forgiving of the bureaucratic labyrinth that your doctor has to deal with, but your doctor should make time for direct, face-to-face communication.

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That is crucial for accurate diagnosis and treatment. Some doctors can listen well while they are typing, but if your doctor does not appear to be listening to you, you are well within your right to politely acknowledge that. The physical exam. Depending on what part of your body is being examined, you may or may not have to change into a gown. But the decision is always yours. You can request that a chaperone be present at any time, and you can also give the chaperone the boot at any time. The same goes for family members or friends who may be with you during the visit.

Whether or not to have company during the physical exam is your decision and yours alone. But don't throw in the kitchen sink. Resist the temptation to squeeze in other concerns at the last minute. It is okay, though, to let your doctor know that there are a few things still on your mind. Most doctors offer patient portals that can also be used to check test results or view a short summary of your visit. You might be able to address some of your remaining concerns with the nurse, or you might simply have to schedule another visit so that those issues get their due.

Take notes if you can. Having a friend or family member there to take notes can also be helpful. Ask your doctor for a list of the medications being prescribed, or tests being ordered. Many doctors will give you a short printed summary of the visit when you leave. Collect any printed orders that you might need for follow up testing and make sure you know how you will be informed of test results and if and when you should come for a follow-up appointment. Since most prescriptions are sent electronically these days, check that your doctor has the correct information for the pharmacy you prefer to use.

If you are interested in signing up for a patient portal, be sure to obtain instructions about how to enroll, so you can access it from home. Here's a list to take to your appointment to be sure you get your most pressing concerns addressed.

Think again! Strange as it is — we doctors usually have no idea what anything costs. And as to whether that antibiotic is covered by your insurance — your doctor may not have the answer. Not only do different insurance companies have different formularies lists of medications that are covered , each formulary has multiple tiers of coverage, and the formularies are constantly changing again, based on the deals the insurance companies negotiate with pharmaceutical suppliers. Your doctor's computer system may have the ability to run formulary checks, but these are not always percent reliable.

Are you confused?

Getting the most from your doctor consultation

This is the nature of an opaque medical system with dozens of insurance companies cutting deals with hundreds of hospitals, health systems, pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies. Make sure you have an extra-large sudoku to do when you make that phone call. One option is to change the prescription to a similar medication that is covered. Tip: Ask the pharmacist — before she or he calls your doctor — which are the comparable medications that are covered by your plan. If you have lingering questions, call the office and ask to speak to the nurse.

Or ask if the doctor could call you back another time, or send a message through the patient portal. Make sure any follow-up tests and referrals are scheduled and mark all the dates in your calendar, including the follow-up appointment with your doctor. After all, you are entrusting this person with your life. Your doctor will not be or should not be insulted. And insurance usually covers a second opinion for complicated procedures or treatments. We used to think of communication skills as bonus, something that a few kindly doctors possessed. We used to tolerate those doctors who were supposedly excellent, but had a terrible bedside manner.

Good communication is the foundation of good medicine. If you feel comfortable, write your doctor a letter and let her know why you are leaving. You should request your medical records to bring to your new doctor, but you are not obligated to give an explanation to your old doctor. About 80 percent of all cases of cardiovascular disease are preventable.

You can lower your risk markedly by making some changes to your lifestyle including doing some things that are easy, simple and even enjoyable. Get the best of Well, with the latest on health, fitness and nutrition, delivered to your inbox every week. See sample Privacy Policy Opt out or contact us anytime. Tobe Fisch. Save for Later. Find a Doctor Whether you are just checking to make sure things are on track, or have a specific symptom you are concerned about, choosing your doctor is the first step.

A doctor who engages his or her patients in decision-making, as opposed to simply rattling off a to-do list. A doctor who you can get in touch with on the phone or through secure email. How Big a Practice? How Much Will It Cost? The Life-Changing Magic of Choosing the Right Hospital Traveling a little farther for a higher-quality place can have a measurable difference in outcomes. What next? Set Your Goals While you wait for your appointment date to come, take some time to consider: What do you want to get out of this visit?

Is this going to be a check-up? Is there a new symptom or problem that you need to bring up? Do you need to talk about big events in the near future? Gather Your Supplies If you are seeing your general doctor, dig out your vaccine card and results of your last mammogram or colonoscopy if you did them at another health system. When does it occur?

DMHC is always recruiting top clinicians and staff members.

How long does it last? What makes it worse? What makes it better? But again, be judicious.

When doctors and patients talk: making sense of the consultation

Separate just the important ones and place them on top. If you want an ally in the room with you, make sure that person is able to come with you to the appointment. Assemble your meds including vitamins and supplements. Make sure you have your insurance card with you.