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Tips on Talking to your Health Care Professional

Tip #1

When talking to a healthcare professional, it is important that you take PART.
Plan ahead:  Write down your questions on an index card.  If you are tech savvy, store them on your iPhone or similar device.  This makes sure all of your questions are answered. 
Ask questions:  If you do not understand the medical terms your healthcare professional uses or why your healthcare professional is prescribing a test or medication, this is your opportunity to ASK.  Let your healthcare professional know what you have learned about arthritis from family, friends, and the internet, to make sure it is accurate.  Ask all of your questions and take notes. Take a recorder if you want to be certain that you got it right, but be sure to ask the healthcare professional for permission to do so before pressing the record button.
Repeat in your own words what the healthcare professional has said:  You might say, “So, Dr. Smith, what you are saying is that my heartburn may be caused by XYZ medication, and that you suggest I substitute medication ABC instead to see if it feels better on my stomach.  Is that correct?”  
Take action:  Do what you and your healthcare professional decide.  If, for whatever reason, you do not want to do something, feel that you are unable to pay for a particular test or treatment, or are afraid to take a medicine based on things that you’ve heard, your healthcare professional needs to know right then and there.  Do not leave the office knowing that you may not take action.  This will not help you feel any better.
Finally:  Your musculoskeletal health is dependent upon three major factors that you may not have considered. Do not be surprised if your healthcare professional asks about your weight, your level of physical activity, and whether you have a healthy lifestyle (for example, if you smoke).  It is important that you talk openly with your healthcare professional.  Be HONEST with your healthcare team.

* These tips are provided for informational purposes only. The tips are intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their healthcare professional. Always consult your healthcare professional before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.

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