Like most women, I’ve had problems communicating with my doctor – both in being understood and being taken seriously. When I started writing this post, in the back of my mind was a statistic that I’d read about women not seeking medical care for fear of being chastised about their weight. In looking for the exact study (which I didn’t find) I came across some other statistics from the Commonwealth Fund from a survey done in 2004 that were just as startling.
- Most appointments are 15 to 20 minutes unless the patient has specifically scheduled a longer time.
- Just 44 percent of patients think their doctor always spends enough time with them
- Almost a third (31 percent )of adults with a serious illness said they left the doctor’s office without getting an important question answered
This made me appreciate even more the program that Green Mountain runs in concert with Joslin Diabetes Center, where participants have several hours with a board certified diabetologist, and the heads of behavioral science, nutrition and exercise physiology. With the white coats off and in a dynamic educational and experiential setting, women that saw themselves as “patients” transform into the “captain” of her healthcare team. It’s been phenomenal to watch as well as experience during the past 4 years of this unique program.
Here are some crucial tips to help you be a better “captain” when you visit a member of your healthcare team….
A. Prepare and rehearse a concise description of your symptoms.
B. Make a prioritized list of your health concerns – pain first, general changes in your body, and the stray hair on your chin last (remember, visits are only 15-20 minutes long, so most worrisome first).
C. Record the names and doses of all medications you take and why you take them.