5 Tips to Help Improve Conversations with Your Doctor | Arthritis.com

5 Tips to Help Improve Conversations with Your Doctor

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5 Tips to Help Improve Conversations with Your Doctor

Based On Material By Ara Dikranian, M.D.
Spirit

5 Tips to Help Improve Conversations with Your Doctor

Based On Material By Ara Dikranian, M.D.
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Ever leave your rheumatologist’s or doctor’s office and think, “Ah, I wish I would have asked…”? Don’t be too hard on yourself. It happens to many people at some point. There’s only so much you can remember in the time you have at each visit.

You can give your memory an edge before your next appointment with the tips and downloadable PDF worksheet below. Developed in partnership with contributor and editorial board member Ara Dikranian, M.D., and people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the worksheet may be able to help you express to your doctor how you’re feeling.

Schedule conversations,
not appointments.

Think of your time with your doctor as a conversation: two people on equal ground, working together to help you live with RA.

Be prepared.
Prioritize questions.

Although both you and your doctor would like more time together, it’s not always possible. Maximize your time by preparing what you want to say in advance and asking your most important questions first.

Rely on your instincts.

Yes, your doctor is the healthcare professionalbut you know yourself best. You know when you’re achieving your goals or not. Trust your instincts and be honest with your doctor about how you’re really feeling.

Be specific and honest.

When your doctor asks, “How are you doing?” try to use more descriptive words than “fine,” “good,” or “OK.” Do you really feel that way, or are you just trying not to be a difficult patient?

Set goals.

Set measurable goals during each conversation with your doctor. Discuss progress. In other words, don’t be afraid to voice your opinions.

Get The Doctor Conversation Worksheet

Make the next visit with your doctor a meaningful one with this handy conversation worksheet. It helps you capture important points you’ll want to share with your doctor: your wins, challenges, goals, and questions.

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