If you are reading this then chances are you have experienced the upset and frustration when you walk out of your medical appointment and want to scream because they just didn’t listen to you. For this reason, I have put together 5 tips to get your doctor to listen to you.
I certainly have been there many times in feeling ignored, not listened to, treated poorly and not progressing any further (and waiting over half a year to get the appointment with the specialist to begin with). I also know the reality of the situation – that doctors have very limited time to spend with you.
These tips have come in very handy for me and many others that I know and hopefully there is something in here to help you, too.
Please feel free to comment below in regards to what you have found helps you.
- Provide Relevant Information – We all know that doctors have a limited time with each appointment and there’s nothing worse than feeling hurried and that our concerns are not being heard. This is one of the primary reasons we created the FibroMapp App, as it correlates all your daily experiences, flare-ups, symptoms, sleep, pain and much more, into easy to read reports. These reports are helping 1000s of patients not only get heard by their doctors, but also provide them with the tools for self-management by learning how their bodies work.
- Track your pain, sleep, medications, journal and more, create reports and either email them or print off
- Why not send your report a few days prior to your appointment and request that the doctor reads your report prior to your appointment?
- If you use FibroMapp App, your reports will pinpoint areas of concern that may have gone missed by your doctor previously and encourages deeper investigation
- These reports are also very helpful to have in your medical file
- The FibroMapp App is personalised to fit you.
- Having a list of all your medications (stored in the app), their dosages etc. can prove very helpful if you need emergency care
My GP knows that I struggle to sit for any length of time and unless there is a physical issue which she needs to see, by sending my reports to her, she calls and goes through any concerns that have cropped up. I HAVEN’T GONE TO THE DOCTOR’S SURGERY IN CLOSE TO A YEAR! (When I was going practically every month at some stages…but that’s another story!).
By calling, not only does my GP help me hugely, it means that she is still able to listen to my concerns and prescribe medications if necessary.
2. Make a Double Appointment
As mentioned above, it’s a horrible feeling when you feel like there is a timer going off over your head in your appointment…and subsequently areas of concern aren’t always addressed – or at least not addressed to satisfy your concerns, by treating them, prescribing if necessary or anything else. If you have more than one issue of concern, make a double appointment.
3. Have a List of Concerns
If you are like me, particularly with complex and ever-changing symptoms and conditions that come along with fibromyalgia, I don’t go in generally with one issue…but around 5 to discuss.
What has happened in the past is I walk out realising that I didn’t discuss an issue as we got sidetracked in discussing everything from medications I am on to test results and investigations. And with brain fog, it is very easy to walk out and realise after the fact that something wasn’t discussed!
4. Interrupt If You Have Been Interrupted
Be polite and courteous, of course! However, if you have been telling your story and they interrupt, get back onto the story and stick to it to ensure you get your points across. This ensures that you get the information out and doesn’t just focus on the areas the doctor has decided to hone in on, when there is more to the story.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Own Questions
If you don’t understand what the doctor is saying, now is the time to ask! Sometimes the doctor doesn’t know the answer and they are asking out of sheer habit. Other times you might not understand the correlation about your concerns and what the doctor is asking of you – make sure you get them to clarify this!
Here is a great letter written from a doctor in regards to their experience of working with complex and chronic pain conditions. Please do read it, as I believe that it certainly helps to understand ‘the other side of the coin’.
If you are still unable to get your doctor to listen to you, then the time has come, if at all possible, to start looking for a new doctor. Speak to friends and family, particularly those who have the same condition as you do, in order to find a doctor that really does listen, care and has compassion. They do still exist! Don’t put up with substandard care if at all possible. It’s your life after all! And it is imperative that your doctor listens to you, understands your concerns, is compassionate and takes you seriously!