I believe that it can sometimes be difficult to go to the doctor. This may be somewhat more true for the non-medical person. The doctor-patient relationship should have solid and open communication at its foundation. The doctor should speak in language that is easily understood by the patient. The patient should ensure that he has a clear understanding of all that is being said. I think that writing your questions down beforehand and taking them with you is a great way to be sure that nothing is forgotten. Having another person present, be it a friend or family member is definitely a big plus. There have been several instances in which my wife was with me at a doctor’s appointment and brought up really important questions that I had either forgotten or not even thought about.
There may be situations that arise in which you have certain concerns that the doctor does not seem to share. If this is the case, please advocate for yourself. Please ask your doctor to explain his difference of opinion, and make sure that you are comfortable with the reasoning. Us doctors are human beings, just like our patients. Sometimes we may overlook things or perhaps not see them quite the way our patients do. If you have reasonable concerns, then you might need to persevere a bit in your questioning. This dialogue should, of course, occur in a polite fashion. Over the years I have had a few patients whose symptoms at the time did not seem to represent anything serious. I was going to discharge them. The patients were young adults. It was their mothers that were proactive and adamant when they said that they knew something was wrong with their child. I listened. I proceeded to investigate further and ended up uncovering serious medical issues that would have caused significant disability for my patients had I let them go home. I listened. That’s the most important thing I did. My patient’s families voiced their concerns and I listened. This open communication helped my patients tremendously.
Always keep an open communication with your doctor. Ask questions. Voice your concerns. Be your own advocate when you need to.