Cathy Citron-Bilovsky, Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage and
Family Therapist

You and Your Doctor

The relationship between you and your doctor is so important.  Your doctor knows more about your health and well-being than any other person besides you.  Your doctor has the knowledge to influence and help you maintain the quality of your health.  If there are problems, your physician can help find solutions.  Develop a relationship that is open and honest.  It is important to be an active participant in the care of your health.

Be well prepared for your office visits.  Before your next visit, make a list of any prescriptions or over-the-counter supplements (including herbal remedies or vitamins) you are currently taking even if they were not recommended by your doctor.  Write down your daily medicine schedule.  Some medicines are better taken in the morning before any meal, after meals, or in the evening.  Also add your current physical, emotional, or relationship problems to this list.  Take a few minutes and do a whole body assessment from toes to hair.  Ask yourself questions like, what hurts?  What are your symptoms?  What has changed?  Is it normal to...?  Should I expect this as I get older?  What is this spot on my arm?  What do I do about my aching back?  My skin?

Bring this list to your next doctor’s visit.  Take time to go over all of the questions you may have.  If your doctor seems rushed to get to another patient, let your doctor know that you need more time to discuss your concerns.

Listen very carefully to what your doctor says.  If there is something that you do not understand about a specific diagnosis or treatment, ask questions.  Let the doctor know if you think you are able to follow through on the recommended treatment.  It helps to be knowledgeable about your health problems.

When there is a serious medical condition that arises, take a second set of ears with you.  Someone else who is able to hear what the doctor is saying so that the information is clear and an informed plan of action can occur.  This person may even be someone who can be your advocate or just there to support you.

Make healthy lifestyle choices.  Practice prevention with at least an annual health screening.  For some, more frequent visits are warranted.

Cathy Citron-Bilovsky, Ph.D.
16944 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 7
Encino, California 91316

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