How to talk to your doctor

Unfortunately, in these times, doctors are busy. Sometimes they do not hear everything you have to say or write down everything you have told them. When you get to a hearing, the records can sometimes miss things or contain inaccuracies. Sometimes you only have a few minutes with the doctor to tell them what is going on before they examine you and then they are gone. Here are a few tips you might use in order to make sure that all of your complaints and symptoms are given to the doctor to complete the medical record.

One tip is to keep a diary, and bring the diary with you to the appointment. (I discuss a diary in another FAQ.) However, it can be mentally difficult to keep a diary. If you are unable to do so, I would recommend that you write down your symptoms on the day of your appointment so that you can tell the doctor. One problem with that method is that if you have good days and bad days, and the appointment is a good day, you may not have symptoms or the symptoms may not be as severe as they ordinarily are. That is the advantage of a diary as it gives a broad picture of your condition. Regardless, whether it is a diary or notes taken the day of the appointment, it is wise to bring one or the other to the appointment. When asked how you are doing, you can tell the doctor that you want to refer to your notes because you cannot always remember to tell him everything that is going on.

You do not need to mention every, single symptom. You want to focus on your main symptoms that you believe are disabling. Sometimes, when you complain about too much, it looks like you are exaggerating or trying to win your case as opposed to trying to get treated. You can tell the doctor that you are applying for disability. You can also tell him that you are represented by an attorney if he asks. You can also tell the doctor that I suggested keeping a diary or bringing notes to the appointment so that the records accurately reflect your symptoms. If you want, you can actually make copies of the diary or your notes and leave them with him to put in the chart. Likewise, the doctor can make copies of the diary or notes to put in the chart. His
Sometimes the doctor puts down statements that are inaccurate. It might be that you are a drug user, smoke cigarettes or the like. In the event that we discover a misstatement in the records, we need to attempt to correct them as soon as possible. You can speak to the doctor at the time of your next appointment. We can write him a letter. It is important to document the mistake and see if we can get a correction in the chart.

One more thing. It is not uncommon for the chart to reflect that the patient is doing well. That often means that relative to the general condition, the patient is doing well. That is to say, the patient may have pain, but it is a good day. When you relay symptoms or how you are doing to the doctor, try to give him a bigger picture than just the day of the appointment. Try to give him a picture of how you have been doing since the last appointment. If you have good days and bad days, tell the doctor just that. If your condition is episodic, which means it only happens from time to time, and on the day of the appointment you are doing well, make sure you mention any episodes that occurred since the last appointment. If you have had surgery, and you are better, but still in a lot of pain, make sure you let the doctor know that.

How to talk to your doctor