White female doctor speaking to black female patient

Build a better relationship with your doctor

All relationships take work—even the relationship you have with your doctor.

To make the most of each doctor visit, plan ahead. Before your appointment, make a list of your health issues and any other topics you want to discuss. Bring the list with you.

Also bring:

  • A list of medication and over-the-counter medicines you take
  • The names of other doctors you see
  • A list of your allergies
  • Any related medical records you have

Here are a few more tips for building a good relationship with your doctor:

Take notes.

During the appointment, take notes or ask your doctor to write down information for you. You can bring a friend or family member to take notes.

Ask questions.

Don’t hesitate to tell your doctor if you don’t understand something.

Talk openly.

Your doctor may ask about other problems you might be facing—from not having enough money for food to troubles getting a ride to appointments. Talk to your doctor about what’s going on. He or she can help connect you with the tools and support teams you need.

Start the conversation.

Don’t be afraid to start the conversation too. Below are some examples:

“I know I should be taking my blood pressure medicine, but I can’t afford it. Who can I talk to?”

“I’m worried about my family’s diet. The grocery store near us closed and we are eating more fast food. What are my options?”

Call, if you need to.

If you have more questions after your appointment, or if you begin feeling worse or have problems with your medicines, call your doctor.

Communicating honestly with your doctor can help you receive the best care.

Other Tags