Remember the good old days?
You know, back when doctors cared more about us than they did about cashing insurance checks and accepting Big Pharma bribes.
When the time you got to spend with the doc was longer than the time you spent cooling your heels in his waiting room.
And, most importantly, when you knew he would REALLY listen to you.
Unfortunately, those days are long gone.
The pay for play schemes between drug companies and doctors have been exposed. And even IF yours is one of the good guys, things STILL aren’t the same.
Appointment slots are shrinking. The few minutes of face time you get with your doctor can practically be counted on your fingers.
And now, thanks to researchers at the University of Washington Health Sciences, we now know this change is MORE than just annoying.
Their new study exposed the TRUE cost of seeing distracted doctors during rushed appointments. And it turns out you could end up paying the ULTIMATE price.
Because according to the researchers, doctors are routinely missing major health issues in older folks. And when your doctor doesn’t consider ALL of your symptoms your DEATH risk shoots right through the roof.
Don’t let your doc ignore THESE symptoms
For the new study, the team recruited more than 7600 people. And they kept track of five different significant symptoms…
- breathing difficulties
- sleep problems
More than half of the volunteers over 65 had two or more of these symptoms. And a quarter had three or more.
But that’s where the real trouble began. It turns out most of the participants only had the time to talk to their doctor about one of them.
And that’s a MAJOR problem because the researchers picked these five symptoms for a good reason. They’re associated with what’s known as “negative health outcomes.”
In other words, they can have a devastating impact on your health. And they shouldn’t ever be ignored.
In fact, the more of these five symptoms you’re living with, the more likely you are to experience a fall, disability, hospitalization, nursing home admission, or even premature death.
6 tricks to get doctors to REALLY listen
Making sure that the time you spend with your doctor is quality time isn’t just a good idea. It could literally SAVE YOUR LIFE.
But since you aren’t likely to get more of it, you need to make sure the time you DO get counts. It’s up to you to advocate for yourself and get your doctor to listen, so he understands all of your symptoms.
Following are six tricks to try…
1. Write down your concerns first:
It’s easy to get flustered when you feel rushed. That’s when things fall through the cracks. Prepare a list of your symptoms and questions ahead of time so you can stay calm and in control. And your doc is far more likely to address all of your issues when you have an organized list to work from.
2. Find the right balance:
If you go in looking for a fight and demanding your doc listen to you, it will probably backfire. Most folks won’t cooperate when they feel forced. On the other hand, if you allow your doctor to take complete control, you will find yourself at the end of your appointment with your questions unanswered. So don’t hesitate to speak up, ask questions, and even politely interrupt when necessary.
3. Take along a friend:
Sometimes, an extra set of eyes and ears can make all the difference. Ask a trusted friend or family member to come along to your appointment. He or she can help you remember your questions AND the answers you get to them. Plus, a friend can step in to help if you’re feeling flustered.
4. Express yourself:
If you aren’t feeling listened to, say so. Being direct is okay as long as you remain polite. Practice these phrases in the mirror at home if you need to: “Doctor, I don’t feel like you’re hearing my concern.” “Doctor would you please help me understand why I’m feeling this way?”
5. Ask for a follow-up:
If you simply run out of time, and your doc’s next appointment is practically beating down the door, just go ahead and schedule another appointment. And when you do make it clear you’re coming in to address some specific symptoms you didn’t get to talk about this time.
6. Get a second opinion:
Yes, doctors are the experts. But no one knows your body as well as you do. If you’ve got symptoms that are affecting your quality of life they should be taken seriously. And if the answers you’ve gotten from your current doctor (IF you got any) aren’t satisfying, it’s okay to see another doctor for a second opinion.
Bring back the good old days and make your next doctor’s appointment count. Get your doc to REALLY listen to you. Remember, it could save your life.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
Follow Alice and HealthierTalk on Twitter and Facebook.