Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How to be a Good Patient

Especially when you have a chronic illness, the relationship between you and your doctor is one of the most important relationships in your life. That 10 minutes every 3-4 months better be used well. After all, studies show that if you participate in your care, you will have better health outcomes, so don't think you're a passive observer; you have a job to do, being a patient. Here are some tips.

Write down your questions in advance.

Keep a diary of your symptoms.

Maintain a medication list on your computer, making changes when necessary, and print out and bring a copy to every doctor appointment.

Take notes on what your doctor says.

Know your medical history.

Be honest about your lifestyle. Smoking, drinking, exercise (or lack thereof).

Ask if the doctor uses email or fax and if those are good ways to reach her.

That's a start, anyway.

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