Does Your Doctor Support Shared Decision Making?

When you go for a routine physical exam, you probably have some questions in mind to ask your provider. But, did you know there are some questions your doctor should be asking you?

You and your provider are partners in health. Honest answers to these five questions can help your doctor better understand you and your concerns so you can work together to keep you feeling your best.

  1. What brought you in today? Whether it is just a routine physical or you made the appointment to address a specific problem, tell the doctor in your own words the reason for your visit.
  2. Has anything changed since the last time we saw each other? This not only includes changes in your physical health, but also any major life events that might be causing stress, such as a change in jobs or a divorce.
  3. Have you been feeling down lately? Although you might find it difficult to discuss, depression is often underdiagnosed and can be the underlying cause of some physical symptoms. Your doctor should ask if you have been experiencing any changes in your habits, such as sleeping and eating, that might suggest that you could be depressed. Or, your doctor might have you fill out a short survey to screen for depression and then discuss the results with you.
  4. How are you doing with your prescriptions? Your doctor needs to know if your medications are working, if you are experiencing any side effects, or if you’re having any problems taking them as directed.
  5. Do you understand everything I told you or do you have any questions for me? Don’t be afraid to let your doctor know if you did not understand a medical term or You may want to repeat back in your own words what you heard so your doctor can confirm that you understood.

If your doctor is not asking these questions, speak up. If your expectations are not being met, your doctor needs to know. And if you feel you are not getting a good patient experience, it might be time to look for a new doctor. You can search for a primary care team that is committed to an excellent patient experience by going to the Community Checkup website to see how your clinic scores on the latest patient experience survey.

Your experience as a patient matters – not only for your perception of your care, but for your health!