Communicating With Your Doctor

When choosing a new doctorstipsonline, most patients are aware of basic criteria to keep in mind. A doctor’s credentials, recommendations from friends and family, insurance plans and coverage, and a doctor’s location are all factors that most people use when searching for a doctor or specialist. However, despite a doctor’s qualifications and the positive experiences of others, some people still leave the doctor’s office unsatisfied. This can have a lot to do with your ability to communicate openly and clearly with your doctor.

Your doctor should be a person you trust and with whom you can openly communicate about all of your medical problems. If you feel uncomfortable talking with your doctor, you may not provide enough details to diagnose your condition, or he or she might misunderstand what you are trying to convey. For these reasons, many patients receive inadequate care, not because a doctor is under-qualified, but instead because the patient and doctor are not able to clearly communicate with each other. Therefore, many people use additional criteria to assist them in choosing the right doctor for their medical needs.


If English is not a patient’s first language, communicating with a doctor can be difficult. Therefore, many patients choose a doctor who can speak the patient’s native language. In this situation, the patient can more adequately and completely describe any medical problems, and can better understand the doctor’s diagnosis and instructions.


Especially when dealing with gender-specific issues, many people feel uncomfortable speaking with their doctors. For example, for various personal reasons, a woman may feel uncomfortable discussing menstrual problems with a male doctor, or a man may feel uncomfortable talking about prostate issues with a female doctor. Gender does not make one doctor more qualified than another to diagnose a problem, but a patient may simply feel more comfortable discussing a problem with a doctor of his or her own sex. This ability of the patient to clearly communicate with the doctor can help the doctor provide proper care.


Cultural differences between a doctor and patient can lead to mis-communication or a lack of communication. A patient may feel more comfortable talking to someone of their own cultural background about personal issues or medical choices. Again, a doctor’s culture in no way influences his or her qualifications, but can help foster healthy and complete communication between doctor and patient.

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