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How to Build a Better Relationship with Your Provider

doctor patient relationship

Do you have an agenda?

I recently came across an article on the doctor and patient relationship as told from the perspective of Dr. J. Blake Long (Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center). He provides an insightful narrative on the changing nature of the doctor and patient relationship and shares some key points that will empower YOU with confidence to be an active participant in your own care. He recommends that you:

  1. Have an agenda when you visit. What issues are important to you? Do you have pain, discomfort or a habit you wish to end?
  2. Know your medical history. Have you been to the emergency room or urgent care, had any surgical procedures (major or minor) and/or any significant childhood ailments?  Who in your family has or has had cancer, diabetes, heart disease or depression?
  3. Be honest with your doctor and all health care providers. In turn, you should expect them to be honest with you about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
  4. Give some consideration to and understand your health care values. Are you interested in alternative/herbal medicine? Does your faith play a strong role in your treatment decisions? This should be shared with your Doctor.

One of the goals of EMP is for you to understand how your health depends on good communication with your doctor and other health care professionals. As you schedule your next doctor’s appointment or receive the reminder for the one you previously scheduled, always remember,

Your doctor wants your questions

Doctors know a lot about a lot of things, but they don’t always know everything about you or what is best for you.

Your questions give your doctor and health care team important information about you, such as your most important health care concerns.

That is why they need you to speak up.

Make a conscious effort to prepare you questions beforehand. Your doctor will appreciate your preparedness and it should facilitate improving the overall quality of care you receive.

Here you will find 10 questions to ask your doctor.

Blessings and good health,


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