3 Tips for Building a Stronger Doctor-Patient Relationship

3 Tips for Building a Stronger Doctor-Patient Relationship

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Trusting your doctor to make the right choices when you’re ill is critical to live a long, healthy life. Your physician has the responsibility of keeping you healthy and knowing the most expeditious and efficient way to cure your ailments. He or she must monitor your blood pressure and glycemia, provide you with useful advices, check your diet and lifestyle and refer you to a hospital if something more serious must be addressed.

Your doctor does a lot for you, and you pay him sound money in exchange, but are we sure there’s nothing more than that in your doctor-patient relationship? In truth, your doctor is much more than a provider of healthcare services. He or she must be empathic, understand your needs, be caring whenever you’re most vulnerable. But he’s still a person, did you ever think about that?

Building a strong, long-lasting relationship with him or her will help you both. According to a 2016 Physicians Foundation survey, in fact, “patient relationships” are described by up to 73.8% of physicians as their primary source of professional satisfaction. And the happier your doctor is to see you, the higher the chances he will provide you with a good service. Think about this next time you are going to give him a bad answer just because you feel stressed about your bad health, okay?

Let’s have a look at how you can build a solid doctor-patient relationship based on trust and mutual respect.

  • Do not press your doctor with prescriptions requests

Many patients think that if they have a disease, there’s a drug that could cure it. And they want it now. They feel like their doctor is wasting their time whenever he tells them to just change their diet or improve their lifestyle, or simply tells them that the best solution is to take some days of rest.

They want a drug, and if the doctor doesn’t prescribe them with any medication, they feel cheated. That’s not necessarily the case. Let your physician do their job – after all they devoted so many years to study medicine the least you can do is to trust the judgement.

Also, do not press him for a multi-dose prescription because you want all your medicines right now. Sometimes a careful physician might want to check back on you after a while before prescribing an additional treatment. If you’re too lazy to walk to a pharmacy several times a month, you can always get your meds delivered through a service like Medly Pharmacy.

  • Provide your doctor with all the right answers

Before they can understand what is happening to you, doctors must ask you a lot of questions. This process is known as “anamnesis” and it’s a necessary step before they can make a proper “diagnosis”. Think about it like a test: they need all the necessary answers to have a detailed overview of your problem, and how to deal with it.

Tell your physician everything from your family medical history to the vitamins for memory and focus you’re taking.  No matter how small it may seem, it will help your doctor provide the best care possible.  Don’t get annoyed by the number of questions he’s asking, and always try to answer them to the best of your possibilities. Even if you think he’s asking the same question twice, answer to it again: maybe he needs more info, or you weren’t able to notice the subtle details that makes the difference the second time.

The more info you provide, the less he must proceed by guessing, meaning that he will also provide a clearer diagnosis with a reduced chance for errors. If you can, try to collect all your medical records as well, since they can provide him with a lot of interesting clues about your issues.

  • Don’t look for your symptoms on the Internet

I know it’s tempting, but seriously, just don’t do it. Looking for your symptoms on Google will probably send you towards a dozen or more websites that have nothing to do with medicine. Even in the best case scenario, if you find a real medical website, you won’t be definitely be able to diagnose yourself since you’re not a qualified specialist.

If you start a conversation with your doctor by telling him you googled your symptoms you’re actually disrespecting his profession and telling him you tried to skip him, if possible. You literally came to him only because the Internet was not able to provide you with a satisfying answer. How nervous do you expect him to be at this point?


Always try to follow your doctor’s advice as closely as you can. Even if you do not understand his decisions, try to stick to them as much as possible. After all, if you want to build a long-lasting relationship you need trust before anything else.

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