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5 tips for talking to your doctor

You're going to the doctor and you don't want any mistakes to be made. Maybe you were injured in a car accident. Perhaps you're worried about medical malpractice. No matter why you're going, you need the meeting to go well.

To accomplish this goal, consider these five valuable tips for talking to your doctor:

1. Don't wait to ask questions. You may be tempted to ask them as the appointment winds down, but the doctor is busy and may already be thinking about the next appointment.

2. Connect with the doctor first. Simply asking about the doctor's day or giving a friendly greeting helps the doctor see you as a person, not just a patient.

3. Be honest. Never hide details or hold things back. Even if the details are embarrassing or personal, the doctor needs to know.

4. Share information quickly. Stick to the important information. Many visits last about a quarter of an hour. That's not long to give the doctor the information he or she needs. Don't waste time.

5. Bring someone along. This person is your second set of eyes and ears. They may notice things you don't, ask questions you don't think of, and bring a more objective point of view. He or she also offers you support if you need it, as any trip to the doctor can be an emotional time.

Of course, the costs associated with any injury can be quite high. When you're hurt and forced to seek out medical attention, it's important to know if you have a right to financial compensation.

Source: AARP, "How to Talk So Your Doctor Will Listen," Amy Paturel, accessed June 23, 2017

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