Clear two-way communication with your primary care provider plays a critical role in how satisfied you are with your medical care, and how diligently you’ll follow a recommended course of treatment. For instance, if your doctor prescribes physiotherapy, but you’ll be unable to make it to appointments for some reason, unless you speak up, he or she won’t be able to suggest an alternate course of treatment.
However, research suggests that even affluent, well-educated patients often forgo asking questions or voicing misgivings about a treatment path, for fear of upsetting their physician, or being labelled a difficult patient.
Then there’s the fact that we may have an increasingly long list of health issues to deal with in a finite appointment time.
So how can you overcome your reluctance to share any concerns that could interfere with following your doctor’s recommendations? And how can you lay the groundwork for doing so as efficiently as possible in the time allotted?
Thank-you to the three interviewees who so generously shared their time and expertise: Lene Andersen, a Toronto author, advocate and blogger (check out The Seated View); Tammy Hoefer, director of patient and public engagement at the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council in Vancouver; and Dr. Moira Stewart, a researcher and distinguished university professor emeritus at Western University’s Centre for Studies in Family Medicine in London, ON.