How to Build a Better Relationship With Your PCP

How's your relationship with your primary care physician or PCP? Because your doctor diagnoses illness, performs preventative checkups and looks out for your physical wellbeing, you want to build a better relationship as you take care of your health now and into the future.

1. Have an Agenda

What do you expect from a doctor visit? Clarify your agenda before you schedule an appointment, and use your list of talking points or questions to keep you on track and ensure your concerns are addressed.

2. Ask Questions

Maybe you were taught to follow doctor's orders without question, but times have changed. Doctors are taught now to listen to patients, and you have Dr. Google at your disposal. So don't be afraid to speak up and ask why tests are being prescribed or what information the doctor used to diagnose you.

3. Know Your Medical History

While your doctor has access to your chart, he or she may not know all the details of your medical history. Record those details in your medical journal, and bring it to each appointment. Use your family's history of depression, diabetes or cancer to help your doctor treat you.

4. Be Honest

Sometimes, you're embarrassed to tell your doctor about your lifestyle or symptoms. However, your doctor uses those details along with test results and a physical exam to determine the correct diagnosis. Honesty goes a long way toward building a trusting and helpful long-term relationship with your PCP.

5.Share Your Preferences

Are you committed to a vegan lifestyle, see depression as a weakness or prefer not to be placed on life support? Share these preferences with your PCP so that he or she can help you make health decisions that honor your wishes.

Regular doctor visits improve your overall health. Take advantage of your health insurance coverage to see your doctor regularly, and use this list to build a better relationship with your PCP. 

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