What information should I always share with my doctor?

Mon, Jul 6th, 2020

Doctors and other healthcare providers are smart people. However, they aren’t perfect. Add on the insane workload many Southeast Missouri doctors handle day after day, and you’ll meet many patients who feel neglected and underserved.

To receive the best care available, it’s important for you as a patient to help your healthcare provider serve you. In a perfect world, your healthcare provider would know all the medications you’re taking and all the chronic diseases and symptoms you have, or at least ask all the right questions to find out. Unfortunately, with back-to-back patients and complex illnesses and diseases, it can be impossible to keep all the information straight.

Every time you meet with your healthcare provider, make sure you tell him or her about medications you’re taking, allergic or unusual reactions you’ve had to medications, current medical conditions and past medications you’re no longer taking. It may help to bring a checklist or note to hand over.
Various medications have funny ways of working with each other, and it’s important your healthcare provider know as much as he or she can before prescribing something new.

When you’re prescribed a new medication, keep track of all your symptoms in a journal app on your phone or with pen and paper. Make sure to note if symptoms are worse than before, better or seem to change when the medicine wears off. By noting this information and sharing it with your healthcare professional, you’ll make his or her job easier, and you’ll receive more precise care – which is best for everyone.

For more in-depth guidelines on speaking with your doctor about chronic disease and other medical conditions, we invite you to attend a six-week self-management program at no cost to you, provided by your local health department.

In this course, you’ll learn how to correctly read prescription bottles, techniques for coping with difficult symptoms, the best questions to ask your healthcare provider and more.