Episode 39:

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Doctor

In, today’s episode we are going to talk about how to get the most out of your doctor visits. Also, BPA now study suggests that we have higher concentrations in our system then told by the FDA.

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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Doctor?

Have you ever left your doctor’s appointment and realized you forgot to mention a symptom or ask a question, or failed to fully understand the instructions you were given?

If we’re lucky, we get about 15 minutes of facetime with a doctor, so it’s often difficult to remember everything you wanted to bring up or that was discussed.

Health News

Levels of the widely used chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, in people’s bodies are much higher than once thought, according to scientists.

 

BPA is used in many plastic products, including food and drink containers, and animal studies have shown that it can interfere with hormones. It has been used to harden plastics for more than 40 years. 

A new method developed by researchers suggests that measurements used by the FDA and other regulatory agencies underestimate BPA exposure by as much as 44 times.

The study took comparative analysis of 29 urine samples from pregnant women in their second trimester using both indirect and direct methods

Method: They measured free BPA concentrations obtained when 1, 10, 50, 500 ng/mL of BPA glucuronide was deconjugated using the two methods that yielded complete deconjugation. 

BPA may be found in many commonly used products, which are often labeled with recycling codes 3 or 7 or the letters “PC. 

Your diet — particularly packaged and canned foods — is by far the biggest source of BPA.

A study of 77 Harvard College students found one week of drinking water from polycarbonate bottles increased the levels of BPA in by two-thirds. This study suggests that regular consumption of water from such bottles significantly increases exposure to BPA.

BPA is said to mimic the structure and function of the hormone estrogen influencing bodily processes, such as growth, cell repair, fetal development, energy levels, and reproduction. 

Linked exposure to fertility problems, male impotence, heart disease and other conditions.

The FDA is continuing its review of BPA, including supporting ongoing research.

How to get the most out of your doctor?

First thing first before you even have an appointment with a doctor you need to choose your doctor or any care provider such as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant.

PPO: choose who you want to see 

HMO: need to be in-network

Start by looking through your health insurance directory, usually, they’ll give out a list of names, addresses and phone numbers to choose from. 

Start by asking yourself what do you need from a doctor? 

  • How often do you need to go see a doctor? 
  • How far are you willing to drive to get the best doctor? 
  • If you’re older you might want to find a doctor with a shorter commute. 
  • Maybe you want a better relationship with a doctor where they can answer your emails, or offer telemedicine appointments. 
  • Do you need a new treatment plan or a modification of what you’re already doing?
  • Do you want to discuss your prognosis: What will happen to you? What may the future bring?
  • Be honest with yourself with what you need from your doctor. 
  • Get to know what kind of patient you are. 

Empower yourself with knowledge. Do some research so you have a better understanding of medical terms the doctors might use. 

Physician rating websites? But it can be like Yelp. So be careful with what you read. 

https://www.repugen.com/blog/doctor-review-sites #1 site Healthgrades with over 19million visitors per month. 

So what should you be looking for in your doctor?

Find somebody that is curious, that asks questions that it letting you know that you’re being heard.

Things like eye contact, does he listen without interrupting, calls you by the same you prefer, you should go to see a doctor that doesn’t make you feel comfortable. Remember your doctor should never make you feel self-conscious.  

Why is the Doctor-Patient Relationship Important?

Patient engagement is the goal. We want patients who are engaged in their health. 

Doctor with the same background is proven to have better health outcomes for the patient. Why is it important? Why is it such a big focus in the industry? I like to think of patient engagement as basically healthcare’s version of customer satisfaction.

According to a study published in the journal Health Services Research, the relationship between a physician and their patient is the key to high patient engagement. After researching over 8,000 Americans with chronic illnesses, experts found that there were three factors that had a huge impact on a patient’s engagement levels. These included:

  • The quality of the patient-physician relationship—especially how well the doctor communicates in the office
  • The amount of respect and fairness patients felt they received
  • The frequency of patient-physician communication outside of the office (through email or phone)

Tips on increasing patient engagement. Be patient. Be respectful. Be involved. 

Studies indicate that patients who perceive their providers as more empathic tend to get better faster and experience less aggressive symptoms. A separate study published in the Annals of Family Medicine yielded similar results, showing that patients reported better outcomes when they perceived more physician empathy.

Know it’s time to optimize your time with a doctor. 

Older or anxious patients may forget as much as 80 percent of what the doctor told them once they leave the office, according to a research review in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Perfect the opening statement. Most doctors will ask you “So What brings you in today?” Be honest with that is bothering you and explain to your provider how it has affected your quality of life. Example “I use to hike every weekend and know with my joint happening I haven’t hiked in three weeks”

Even a written list is a good idea, plus it’s a good indicator that is telling your doctor that you’re noticing your health seriously. Take all your medication with or a list. That way if a different doctor has added something to the list, your primary can review the list and possible interactions. 

Bring in records from all the different doctors you see or emergency hospital visits so your doctor can piece together what is exactly going on. Each healthcare system uses its own electronic medical record and most have usually no idea with their patient who has been hospitalized or seen another doctor.

Come to the doctor prepared. This way you both will be respecting each other’s time and especially the time restraint most doctors are facing.    

Be clear about your agenda about what you want to accomplish. If you aren’t getting what you think you deserve from your doctor, it’s ok to let him know. Emphasize what can make your interaction better. 

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