It is important to have a good relationship with your primary care physician, and with any other medical professional seen throughout the course of your life.
So what can you do if you feel like your complaints get ignored? How can you start pushing for better care and advocating for yourself?
Good RX discusses how to be your own advocate. First, they emphasize the importance of asking follow-up questions. You can do research on your own and come to an appointment with questions prepared in advance. You can look into similar symptoms that you experience and potential conditions they might point to. Ask questions whenever something does not seem clear or you do not fully agree with it.
Asking for data and explanations
Next, request the backing of scientific data. Ask your doctor to explain your test results exactly, in language that you can understand and parse rather than in numbers or data you might not know. Know the margin of medical norms that your numbers fall in. Request all of the necessary tests so that you and your doctors have as much information as possible.
Seeking second opinions
Finally, know when to walk away. Sometimes, the best way to self-advocate is by leaving a practice that does not suit your needs. If you feel like you never get taken seriously or that your concerns get brushed off rather than addressed, it might be time to look for a second or third opinion. It might even be time to find an entirely new set of doctors.
By following this advice, it is possible to become a better self-advocate and see better results.