How to talk to your doctor

Doctor and patient talkingHealthcare today is focused on “patient-centered care”, a movement for doctors and patients to work together to make medical decisions. In order to work together successfully, a healthcare provider must be ready to listen, and a patient must be ready to speak.

There are many organizations and individuals who offer advice about talking to your doctor.  Here is a collection of the best resources we’ve found:

Planning a doctor’s visit: How to plan your visit in advance so you can cover all of your needs during the appointment.

How to talk so your doctor will listen: Ten tips to help put your doctor in the best frame of mind for a productive conversation. 

Can I really talk about that?: How and why to talk to your doctor about sensitive subjects like alcohol use, memory loss, and sexuality.  

A teen guide for talking to a doctor: Advice for teens aimed at calming their fears about private conversations with a health professional.

How can I be involved in making decisions?: A list of questions to ask that will help you identify what will work best for your lifestyle , schedule, and personal beliefs. 

How to talk about chronic pain: It’s not enough to say that it hurts; you need to be able to describe when it hurts, what it feels like, and how it affects your life.

Talking to Your Doctor:  This book is written by a physician and geared toward patients. It offers simple ways in which patients and doctors can use individual encounters to affect more wide-spread healthcare reform.

Are there other resources on this topic that you found helpful? Please respond with a comment on this post.


Brandy King

This post was written by Brandy King, Head of Information Services at The Arnold P. Gold Foundation Research Institute