DISCLOSE ALL INFORMATION
RELATING TO YOUR ILLNESS TO THE DOCTOR.
If you withhold information, the doctor can't be
expected to make an accurate diagnosis and begin
proper treatment. Not telling him everything could
even result in potentially dangerous therapy or
tests. The information you give the doctor should be
confidential and should not be used for any purpose
other than to provide for your treatment.
KEEP OFFICE APPOINTMENTS OR
CANCEL WELL IN ADVANCE.
Just as it's unfair for your doctor not to keep
his appointments promptly, it's unfair for you to be
late or to just not show up. If you're going to be
late, please call ahead and let them know. If you
need to cancel, please try to do so 24 hours in
advance so that someone else will be able to make an
appointment in your place.
PLAN YOUR VISIT WITH THE
Think about and write down any questions you may
have in advance so that you can refer to them during
your visit. Think about your symptoms carefully, so
that you can give informed answers to the doctor's
STOP THE DOCTOR WHEN YOU
DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT HE IS EXPLAINING AND ASK FOR A
The doctor won't know you don't understand
unless you tell him. He won't think you're stupid if
you ask him for clarification, and will probably
appreciate the fact that you want to be informed
about your health. Doctors are used to thinking in
obscure medical terms, and tend to forget that not
everyone knows what they are talking about. It's
okay to slow him down and get the information in
terms you understand.
This is both a right and a responsibility. You
need to ask the questions you want answers to. The
doctor can't read your mind.
FOLLOW THE DOCTOR'S ADVICE
AND REPORT QUICKLY ANY ADVERSE EFFECTS OF THERAPY,
COMPLICATIONS FROM TESTS, OR WORSENING SYMPTOMS.
If you aren't going to follow the doctor's
advice, why are you seeing him in the first place?
If you disagree with the treatment suggested, you
should discuss this with the doctor, rather than
just going home and not following his advice. If
there are problems with the treatment, the doctor
needs to be informed so that changes can be made.
LIMIT PHONE CALLS BETWEEN
VISITS TO PROBLEMS WITH ADVERSE EFFECTS OF THERAPY, COMPLICATIONS,
OR WORSENING SYMPTOMS, OR OTHER MATTERS WHICH YOU
HAVE AGREED ON IN ADVANCE.
It's important to keep the doctor informed of
problems with your treatment. It's also important
not to "bug" him. Often doctors will wait
several hours to return non-emergency calls so as
not to interrupt ward rounds, patient visits, and so
on. Don't be too impatient if the secretary has
taken a message; the doctor will get it and return
your call. If the doctor does *not* return your call
at all, then you have every right to be upset about
it and need to discuss your concerns about this with
PAY AGREED-UPON CHARGES
PROMPTLY OR IN A WAY MUTUALLY ACCEPTABLE TO BOTH
Just as you are obtaining a service from your
doctor, he has the right to expect payment from you
or your insurance company. Make arrangements for
payment before your visit. If your response to
treatment is less than you expected, or if you are
not "cured", it should not be taken out on
the doctor by not paying him.