Efficient communication between you and your doctor makes up the foundation for the clinical function while building a therapeutic doctor-patient relationship, which is the heart as well as the art of medicine. This is important in achieving the highest quality of healthcare delivery. Much of the patient dissatisfaction as well as many complaints are reported to arise as a result of poor relationship between the doctor and the patient.
A doctor’s communication and interpersonal skills include the ability to gather information from the patient for facilitating accurate diagnosis, appropriate counselling, giving precise therapeutic instructions, and finally, establishing considerate relationship with patients. The ultimate goal of these core skills in the medicinal practice is to achieve the best outcome and patient satisfaction, both important for the effective healthcare delivery. Studies on doctor-patient communication have showed patient dissatisfaction even when many doctors considered the communication to be enough or even brilliant. Sometimes, doctors tend to overestimate their abilities in communication. In addition, patient surveys have regularly shown that they want even better communication with their doctors.
This can be achieved by talking freely with your doctor. Talking about your health to your doctor means sharing information about how you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally with them. Knowing how to describe your symptoms and bring up other concerns will eventually help you become a partner in your healthcare.
Patients often hide a certain aspect of their symptoms or illness or even their life because it may be embarrassing and may also create a great level of discomfort. Unless you build a trust-based relationship/communication with your doctor, you may not be able to freely talk about some facts with them, which might actually help them assess your condition easily. Many a times, patients just don’t regard their marital problems, anxiety, or worries to be the fodder for their cholesterol check-up. Or they’re too self-conscious to bring up sensitive topics like sexual difficulties or bladder problems like incontinence or constipation. Some may even consider certain topics as insignificant to mention to their doctors. But you must understand that every single bit of information, right from your stress to your sexual history to your use of supplements, can have a substantial impact on your health and all of it should be disclosed to your doctor. Moreover, lying to your doctor about medication adherence can completely change the track of your treatment plan and affect your health significantly.
Remember, each and every bit of information you may or may not consider important should be mentioned to your doctor. Your doctor may give you a talking to but they won’t punish you. It’s beneficial for you, when you talk freely about all your worries and embarrassing facts and symptoms with your doctor. As based on this conversation only , the doctors can make better informed decisions about your treatment plan.