Providing accurate health information and asking the doctor questions can improve your quality of care. It’s important to build a relationship with a doctor that allows for frank and open discussion about an individual’s health. This conversation can lead to increased patient satisfaction and a better understanding of the health care services being utilized. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality1 (AHRQ) has provided this useful information for patients and consumers. Unfortunately, many individuals in the black community mistrust doctors and medical professionals, which contributes to reduced usage of the healthcare system.
Answers will Improve Your Health!
Many African-Americans feel that doctors are condescending and that the whole experience is very stressful. Jay Harold’s post, “Talking to Doctor Presents Challenges for African Americans2,” addresses this issue in more detail.
Despite the problems found in communicating with your doctor; you play an important role as part of a team effort to receive quality health care. One of the best ways to contact your doctor and health care team is by asking questions and preparing some questions in advance because time is limited during medical appointments.
Why you need Answers!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides these facts about the African American Population3:
- Percent of persons all ages in fair or poor health: 13.5%
- Percent of men 20 years and over with obesity: 37.6% (2011-2014)
- Percent of women 20 years and over with obesity: 56.9% (2011-2014)
- Percent of men 20 years and over with hypertension (measured high blood pressure and/or taking antihypertensive medication): 40.9% (2011-2014)
- Percent of women 20 years and over with hypertension (measured high blood pressure and/or taking antihypertensive medication): 44.8% (2011-2014)
We certainly need to improve our health status. But you already know this fact. Think about your loved ones.
Your Doctor wants your Questions: Ask!
Doctors know a lot about a lot of things, but they don’t always know everything about you or what is best for you.
Your questions give your doctor and health care team important information about you, such as your most pressing health care concerns.
That is why they need you to speak up. Jay Harold has included the ten questions3 you should know before your doctor’s visit.
- What is the test for?
- How many times have you done this procedure?
- When will I get the results?
- Why do I need this treatment?
- Are there any alternatives?
- What are the possible complications?
- Which hospital is best for my needs?
- How do you spell the name of that drug?
- Are there any side effects?
- Will this medicine interact with medicines that I’m already taking?
Here’re more questions that help prepare you for the doctor’s visit:
- Questions to ask before your appointment4
- Questions to ask during your appointment5
- Questions to ask after your appointment6
- Build your own list of questions7
Jay Harold had many questions for his mother’s doctors while she fought Colon-Rectal Cancer8. Her doctors almost always answered our questions with respect and dignity. The answers relieved some anxiety and stress associated with Cancer. When you understand and remember what the doctor said, the journey to the physician’s office can be seen as a success.
“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” This quote by Confucius can save you heartache when dealing with the healthcare system.
Click this link to get free Health and Wealth information to improve your life. Play the free “Slow Roll Through Civil Rights” Game found on the Jay Harold website. Enjoyed this post? Share it and read more here.