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How can you make sure your doctor listens to you?

Few things are as frustrating as going to the doctor with a problem you have been thinking about nonstop for weeks and feeling like your doctor doesn't even listen to you. This is a very common issue. According to one study, while most doctors (75 percent) think that they communicate well with patients, a mere 21 percent of those patients actually agree.

So, what can you do? Here are a few tips:

  • Write out notes and plan what you want to say. This way, you can easily hit all your main points in as little time as possible. You can also easily tell the doctor, if he or she is talking over you, that you just need to read off this list first. It's easier to control the conversation when you plan for that conversation.
  • Bring someone else. Maybe it's your spouse or a close friend. Tell that person what you want to say and what concerns you have. They can then help you make sure the doctor hears those concerns.
  • Tell your doctor if the conversation isn't going how you want. If you say "I don't think you're really listening to me," it can reset the conversation. Remember, your health is very important. It is the main focus of this visit. You may feel a bit awkward to tell the doctor that you do not like the level of communication during the visit, but that's a small price to pay to get the treatment you deserve.

If your doctor does not listen to you and then makes mistakes as a result, be sure you know what legal options you may have to start a medical malpractice lawsuit.

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