Good communication between you and your doctor is crucial to achieving your health goals. Both you and your doctor have responsibilities in order for you to achieve optimal results.
You must be prepared when going into an appointment with your doctor. Because a doctor's time is limited, you should be organized and know what you want to accomplish during the appointment.
For your first appointment with a new doctor, bring a briefly-written and bulleted description of your medical history. In addition, bring a list of questions and concerns to this appointment and every one afterwards.
These written histories and questions help you communication with your doctor and should be the starting point for a your education about the condition. These items also increase the likelihood of getting the best outcome from each appointment.
The bulleted medical history should include:
Previous doctors visited;
Dates,frequency and description of seizures;
Tests previously conducted and results of those tests;
Brief details of any prior emergency situations;
Current and past medications;
Any side effects encountered; and
Length of time using current medication(s).
You should also consider bringing a friend or family member to an appointment, especially if tests will be done. Having someone else there not only provides moral support, but another person can help ask questions or even take notes to guarantee that you have all the information discussed during the appointment. Having someone else go to the appointment also ensures a safe trip home afterwards. Some tests, like sleep-deprived electroencephalograms (EEGs), are mentally taxing and could render you incapable of driving yourself.
You should never leave a doctor's office without fully understanding your own treatment program. An important element of each appointment is asking questions about the medications being prescribed and the potential side effects involved. If a doctor cannot clearly dictate the nature of these medications or the side effects, you should consult a nurse or a pharmacist as soon as possible. In addition, if the financial aspects of treatment are an issue, your doctor should be notified of this problem immediately so different options can be explored.
Doctors are ultimately responsible for providing you with the best possible care at their disposal. The doctor's responsibilities include: ordering tests and analyzing their results; understanding and being aware of your concerns and wishes; being aware of your responses to certain drugs (good and bad); developing a proper treatment plan; prescribing medication; tracking your progress; and coherently answering questions about the treatment plan.Your time is also precious, so doctors have a responsibility to be mindful and courteous of your efforts. Just as you should help make a doctor's job easier by being organized and prepared, doctors should also make your life easier by being fully knowledgeable of your case, answering questions clearly and being as accessible as possible.