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How To Maximize Limited Time With Your Doctor

Keep The Playing Field Level

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If you feel you and the doctor are working together as partners in your health care, you will feel more in control. It also stands to reason that your time together will be more fruitful. Here are some tips for keeping the playing field level:

  • Discuss with the doctor what to call each other. For example, by your last names or first names. It's hard to be on an equal footing when you call the other person "Doctor XYZ" and the doctor calls you by your first name.
  • In many meetings with a doctor, the patient is naked under a flimsy cloth or paper gown while the doctor is in business attire and possibly an imposing white coat. To help level the playing field:
    • Sit or stand up when you're not being examined.
    • Wear two dressing gowns so nothing is hanging out.
    • Practice being in an examining gown at home. Create a gown on your sewing machine or with a few hand stitches.
    • If you don't have a sewing machine or aren't handy with a needle, wear a large men's shirt or bathrobe backwards. Don't close the back. Leave it open just as normally happens with a hospital gown. Spend a couple of hours going about your normal activities inside the house. It helps to do this in front of close friends or family members. The key is to get comfortable with this kind of exposure -- like a rehearsal for a performance.

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