Exam Room Boogidy:
Are you intimidated by your doctor? Does he or she have an "attitude?" Can you see by body language that there is a definite conflict happening between you and the doctor? Can you handle it?
These hints and bits of advice will make your day. Don't you just love it when you discover secrets to avoiding problems, as well as getting your money's worth from the doctor?
Strategies to make it work for you:
1. Silent signals tell you.
2. How to deflate the "attitude."
3. How to control the factors that free up more time with the doctor.
The problem is that many patients find it very difficult to talk to a doctor. Things get awkward. They just don't want to bother the doctor because he is so darn busy anyway. Wrong! Your attitude must be, "I am here because I have a medical problem. This whole office visit and time is mine to do with it as I please. I am the important one here."
The purpose and goal is to use that doctor to get information, reassurance, and medical care. You silently have sent him a signal without speaking--- just by thinking it.
No, you don't say it out loud! The next step is to instantaneously evaluate the doctor's attitude, unless you already know how he or she "is." Is he a poor communicator? Does she act like you don't exist in the room? What! No greeting, hello, or handshake? Is he in a hurry, and it's obvious?
The doctor's attitude sets the pattern for the whole visit -- he thinks! Boy is that doctor going to have a revelation after you read this. Every doctor has his own unique personality. Each patient must seek out a doctor that they feel comfortable with and trust. If you don't feel comfortable with him or her, you will not trust their advice or treatment. Change doctors quickly!
Some doctors dictate to their patients, and if patients don't like it, they have to go elsewhere. Most doctors are gentle, conscientious, and thorough, and treat patients like friends. Doctors are always in a hurry, whether they show it or not. Training teaches them to ignore that impulse when they are with a patient.
Doctors can be excellent at diagnosis and knowledge, but are depleted of a bedside manner. These are the one's you have to know how to handle. Good doctors respect your time. Hurried and irritable doctors will not respect your time in the exam room. Yell at them right then! Let the doctor know that you see right through the attitude and as a patient, you deserve better.
Once you have verbalized that to the doctor, almost 100% will suddenly change into a nicer person, believe it or not. The last hassle a doctor needs is a letter of complaint from a patient against him or her that reaches the local Medical Association Grievance Committee. Here are the ways to bring these doctors to their knees, and have them begging for mercy.
1. Be aggressive but nice. Simply point out that your health is very important, and he should listen to all your questions, and provide adequate answers. Remind the doctor that he has made a pledge to his profession to do all he can to help patients. These comments make a person ashamed of the way they are acting, and they shape up immediately.
2. Be understanding. Explain that you understand the stresses of being a doctor and that you are sympathetic about that issue. This will chop him off at the knees. On occasion, some doctors are so wrapped up mentally with some other issues that they do not recognize how they are acting towards a patient. They just need a "heads up" push. You have to do it, not the nurse or other office personnel.
3. Be apologetic. It is just another approach to try if the others aren't working. You can pretend that the way the doctor is acting is your entire fault. Talk about making her feel guilty! Try, "If I have done something here to upset you, I apologize for my behavior." What a great "wake-up" call for the doctor!
4. Be clever. As soon as you see the bad attitude, verbalize this; "It probably would be better for me to reschedule my appointment for a time when my visit won't add to your distress." Canceling your appointment on the spot will give her some free time to get herself together before seeing the next patient. See, you have just helped another patient, and feel good about it.
5. Be cool. It is a last resort strategy. Very silently, and quietly, without uttering a single word, get off the exam table, get dressed and walk out of the exam room without a single look at the doctor, or any eye contact. When you get to the front desk, ask to see another doctor. If the doctor then follows you out front - kick him in the shins and run. No, don't do that - just think it.
The greatest risk for running into an impossible doctor is on the very first visit. You haven't had a prior opportunity to check him or her out. A referral from a friend and their comments about the doctor is usually all you have to go on. Medical Societies will not give out that kind of information.
One thing for sure, on your arrival, if the waiting room is full, you can usually count on the doctor being a good one. The quality of his treatment of his patients is measured by the number of patients that are willing to tolerate the wait to see him.
Part Three: Discussion of the many shortcuts a patient can take that are directly controlled by the patient to increase the time spent with the doctor, and a summary of the many little secrets that add great value to your doctor appointment.