Why It's Important to Have Good Relationships With Your Doctors
Whether you realize it or not, it can be extremely beneficial for your health and wallet to let your doctors and other health care providers know that you appreciate all that they do for you and also personally respect and like them.
This does not mean that you have to kiss their behinds, but it does mean that you should do what you can to make them feel better about themselves and the work they do.
They are human beings. The nicer you are to them, the nicer they will be to you!
Avoid Creating Negative Situations
The average person generally fears, dislikes or is intimidated by his doctors, even though they provide the services that he needs.
It is unfortunate that individuals feel this way because in truth their doctors are the very people who help them when they become ill and show them the best ways to remain healthy.
Most people resent the amount of money they have to pay for medical care, think doctors make far too much money and have heard terrible stories about the ways in which doctors have made certain patients suffer.
When you harbor these types of negative feelings, a physician may sense them. As a result, he is less likely to provide you with good care because he thinks that, given the circumstances you have created, nothing he is going to do will please you.
Thus what your feelings create is a negative situation that can lead to real and sometimes serious physical, financial or emotional problems for you.
Therefore, you should do all you can to create positive relationships with your physicians so that you trusts one another and are able to work together as a team to bring about pleasant visits that produce good results.
Patient Attitudes Really Matter
I liken the patient doctor relationship to training a wild parrot.
Wild parrots are naturally afraid of human hands. Therefore if you stick your open hand into the bird’s cage without warning, he’s going to bite.
However, if you place a bit of his favorite food on top of your closed hand and slowly put it into his cage, he will learn to look forward to the treats you bring and thus start to trust you.
The same is true for doctors.
If you enter a physician’s office tense, fearful and defiant, you’re going to put him on the defensive.
On the other hand, if you greet him with a smile and a handshake, ask him how his day is going and let him know that you appreciate what he is doing for you, he’ll go the extra mile for you.
Patients often feel that because they are paying for a doctor’s services, it is he who should be forthcoming, but they forget that these professionals deal with many people in a day, are highly stressed and often are treated poorly by patients.
This type of treatment happens more often than not. As a result, many doctors become “jaded”. They begin to view patients as “backs” or “knee replacements” rather than as whole human beings and treat them accordingly.
This, of course, is wrong of them to do, but they are people just like their patients. They have feelings and needs, so it often is up to patients to help their health care providers see them as individuals who will brighten their days and make them want to provide the best possible level of care.
Make Sure Your Doctor Knows You
It's common for people to go to see their doctor and expect him to know their entire health history. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
The doctor might know your face and name, but that normally is all. He may have glanced at your chart, but this is a far cry from knowing all of the important facts about your health.
If he does not know what your health issues are well enough to properly prescribe appropriate treatments for you, you could be headed for trouble.
Therefore it is up to you to tell him what you want him to know every time you see him. This makes things easier for him because you are just one of hundreds of people he sees each week. He cannot possibly remember every detail for each patient.
Doctors have your file and are supposed to read it, but many simply don't have the time to read it with enough depth to really be able to help you.
I have a friend who recently developed a problem with her neck. She also suffers from depression and her brother actually committed suicide. She is being medicated for her depression but just yesterday her doctor prescribed a medication for neck pain that is known to have depression and suicidal tendencies as side effects!
While this is somewhat shocking, it is not unusual.
This is why it is important to always ask a doctor about side effects prior to taking any medication and also inform your doctor about your problems every single time you see him,
Here are some things you can do to make sure your doctor remembers and appreciates you.
Bring Some Joy to Your Doctors
In truth, taking the time to bring some joy into your doctor’s day is beneficial to you as well as him.
Those who like you will look forward to your visits and are more willing to do favors for you, some of which can save you money and time.
- Recently one of my husband’s doctors gave him coupons to get $120 worth of medication at no cost!
- Last month my dentist replaced a crown that had fallen out at no charge and also did a cancer screening for my husband for free.
We aren’t nice to these people to get such favors. We are nice to them because we sincerely like them and appreciate the good work they do for us. We treat their staffers the same way.
Some of the things we have done to create happy relationships with them are to
- always give them candy or cookies at Christmas,
- say thank you every time we end a visit,
- do what we can to make them smile and laugh,
- ask them how they are doing,
- listen to their problems, if they wish to share them,
- refer other patients to them,
- praise them often and
- give hugs where and when appropriate.
We are sick a lot, so we visit doctors a lot. However, instead of being scary or intimidating visits, they have become more like social visits.
This makes for much more pleasant experiences for all concerned.
The Best Benefit of All
Over the years, my husband and I have had doctors refuse payment for visits because they kept us waiting too long, given us CD’s of MRI’s that normally would have cost $25 each and prescribe double strength medications so that we could cut them in half to save money.
They did these things because they liked us and knew that paying for these things would be hard on our budget.
For the same reason our doctors don’t insist that we make appointments to get prescription refills or referrals.
More importantly, when we see one of our physicians, he remembers us. He makes sure that he is well informed about our health situation, and this keeps him from making mistakes.
All of these are wonderful benefits that have come our way simply because we have chosen to treat our medical providers with respect and have tried to make their days a little brighter.
Ironically, the best benefit has been that by taking the time to build good rapports with our doctors, we have created friendships. That is something money cannot buy, and it is worth everything.
When you're lying in a hospital bed it is very comforting to know that the doctors attending to your health really care about you.
- After a bad fall a few years back, I broke my hand in four places. A doctor I didn't like showed up and announced he would be my surgeon. He took a marker and wrote his name on my arm above my broken hand. I demanded to have my own doctor do the surgery. He was leaving on vacation that day, but stayed to take care of me.
- Just before I went into the operating room, I showed him what the other surgeon had written and told him it really upset me. He immediately said "Well, we'll fix that right now!" and proceeded to take out his own marker, scratch out the other doctor's name and write his above it.
- We had a good laugh about that, and I entered the OR confident and relaxed as a result. Today my hand is totally healed, and I still take candy to that surgeon to this day at Christmas, even though I no longer see him as a patient.
As you can see, creating good relationships with doctors has many benefits. It costs nothing to make them happy, but the rewards doing this brings are priceless!
Do you think creating a good relationship with your doctor is worthwhile?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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© 2019 Sondra Rochelle