Why do some people have a less-than-ideal relationship with their health-care provider? When is it time to switch? Read these tips on improving your relationship with your doctor or midwife.
Open The Lines Of Communication
Many patients don't ask questions. Sometimes this reticence comes from the patient's not wanting to "bother" the doctor or from being afraid to find out the answers to questions. Other times hesitation results from the doctor's nonverbal signals that say she doesn't have time for or want questions, such as glancing at her watch, readily accepting non-urgent phone calls, or interrupting your opening statement.
While some women believe that ignorance is bliss, others are chomping at the bit for information. Women who actively participate in their prenatal care and in childbirth generally are the happiest with their birth experience.
The bad news: According to several experts, the growth of managed care is also taking a toll on communication between health-care providers and their patients. "Insurance companies expect care providers to see more patients per day, and there's a little more pressure to get patients in and out," says Ronald Jackal, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the division of maternal/fetal medicine at the East Tennessee State University College of Medicine.
The good news: Today, more than ever, doctors are likely to reveal every last detail about the risks and benefits of tests, such as amniocentesis, and other procedures their patients are considering undergoing. Because our society is more litigious than it was a decade ago, doctors practice such "defensive medicine" to protect themselves from potential malpractice suits.
Originally from American Baby Contributor