Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ask your doctor MORE questions !

     It never fails to amaze me.  I will be talking to a patient who is contemplating a difficult procedure. He or she is being very inquisitive, trying to understand their options. Suddenly, they will say something like  "sorry for asking so many questions" ! !    My standard answer (yes, I have one) is that most people don't ask their doctors nearly enough questions. Ask away.  If a patient leaves my office without knowing what they need to know, then I haven't done my job properly. I try never to let that happen. I try never to seem like I am in a hurry, or that there is some place else I need to be. Trust me, your doctors WANT you to ask questions.     

     Yet, we've often been conditioned to believe that our doctors should just tell us what to do. That we shouldn't ask too many questions. That the doctor's time is somehow too valuable for us to "waste" with excessive questions. That simply isn't the case. Information is not "extra". It is an integral part of your treatment, and you're entitled to ask for it. More than entitled, actually. You are responsible to ask for it. That is one of the most important ways in which you can take an active role in your own health care. Your doctors should encourage that !