Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Help Your Doctor Find the Time to Treat You Right

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Help Your Doctor Find the Time to Treat You Right

Article excerpt

Dear Doctor K: I like my doctor and I trust his judgment, but I don't feel he really listens to me or explains things. What can I do, besides look for another doctor?

Dear Reader: Let me respond first as a patient.

At your next visit, gently but firmly make certain things clear:

Suppose he says something you don't understand. Tell him you're sorry, but you don't understand. Ask him to explain it again.

Suppose he recommends a particular diagnostic test or treatment. If you're concerned about the risk, the cost or something else, tell him that, and explain why. If he mentions risks, be sure he tells you how likely the risks are. (Don't expect a precise answer, but ask for a rough estimate.) Suppose, after hearing the answer, you don't like the doctor's recommended test or treatment. …

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