As a patient, you expect your doctor to take the time to explain your health problems to you. You want to understand what is wrong with you, what treatment options are available, and what you can do to manage your condition. However, many patients report not getting enough time from their doctors to ask questions and get the needed information.
There are several reasons why doctors may not spend enough time explaining health problems to patients. One reason is time constraints. Doctors are often rushed to see as many patients as possible daily. This can make it difficult for them to give each patient the individual attention they need.
Another reason is that doctors may feel uncomfortable explaining complex medical terms to patients. They may worry that patients will not understand what they are saying or that they will get overwhelmed by the information. As a result, doctors may simplify their explanations or refrain from explaining things altogether.
In some cases, doctors may not spend enough time explaining health problems because they are unsure what to say. They may not have all the answers or be worried about giving patients false hope. As a result, they may avoid discussing the patient’s condition altogether.
Whatever the reason, the lack of time and communication between doctors and patients can have several negative consequences. Patients may not understand their condition, be unable to make informed decisions about their treatment, and be less likely to follow their doctor’s advice.
There are several things that patients can do to get more time from their doctors and improve communication. First, patients should come to their appointments prepared. This means bringing a list of questions, writing down their symptoms, and bringing any relevant medical records. Patients should also be clear about what they want to know and why.
Second, patients should be assertive. They should speak up if they feel like they are not getting enough time from their doctor. They should let their doctor know they need more time to ask questions and understand their condition.
Finally, patients should not be afraid to ask for a second opinion. If they are not satisfied with the care they are receiving from their doctor, they should seek out another opinion.
Good communication between doctors and patients is essential for providing quality healthcare. By explaining health problems to patients, doctors can help patients make informed decisions about their care and improve their overall health outcomes.
Here are some additional tips for patients who want to get more time from their doctors and improve communication:
- Schedule an appointment for a specific time rather than just showing up at the doctor’s office. This will give your doctor a better idea of how much time they need to allocate for your visit.
- If you have many questions, call your doctor’s office ahead of time and see if they can answer some over the phone. This will free up more time during your appointment to discuss the more complex issues.
- If you still feel overwhelmed after your appointment, don’t hesitate to ask for a follow-up appointment. This will allow you to get more clarification on anything you didn’t understand.
Can pharma help?
YES. Pharma companies that treat specific conditions should develop websites and literature with answers that HCPs get around health issues. The challenge is to ensure that these questions are updated based on the feedback from physicians.
Why literature? The internet has become a dangerous place for health information, with too much-paid advertising for cures based on garbage. It has been my experience that physicians would welcome literature to give to patients during their visits. This literature should also warn people that when searching for health information online, they should go to credible websites like the Mayo Clinic or WebMD.