The team at Eyesthetica strongly believes in the importance of the doctor-patient partnership. Our hope is that all of our patients feel informed and educated about whatever problem they are facing and that they feel involved in the development of their treatment plan.
If you have recently experienced a concerning symptom or been diagnosed with a medical eye condition, you might feel hesitant about approaching a doctor to discuss your options. Eyesthetica has created a primer to help prepare you to talk to your doctor about your eye condition.
Ask Lots of Questions
If your doctor mentions a term that you don’t understand or describes a procedure that isn’t familiar to you, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Stop the conversation from going any further until you have an understanding of what your doctor means.
Keep a Written or Audio Record
It is perfectly acceptable to bring along a pen and paper, or use your cellphone to record pieces of the conversation with your doctor (just let him or her know you are recording the conversation). These notes may be helpful as you try to recall your conversation or do some research on your own after the appointment. Some doctors actually send you home with a written account of your appointment, what you discussed and any instructions.
Bring Along a Family Member or Friend
Feel free to bring a family member or close friend to your doctor’s appointment to listen along with you and ask questions. As long as your companion does not disrupt your discussion, it can be helpful to have an additional set of ears.
Inquire about Pamphlets or Written Material
Your doctor may have pamphlets or other written resources about your condition that you can take home with you. Don’t leave the office without inquiring about these documents.
Turn To Other Members of Your Health Care Team
Your health care team includes more than just your doctor. Reach out to nurses, staff members or even your pharmacist to ask questions and get additional information you need.
To make sure you have a good understanding of your medical condition, diagnosis and treatment, ask the following questions:
- What is my diagnosis?
- Is it treatable?
- How did I develop this condition?
- What lifestyle changes (if any) should I make to improve this condition?
- How will my vision be affected by this condition? Will the effects change over time?
- How best can we treat my condition? What are my options?
- When should I start treatment and how long will it take?
- Are there any risks or complications from treatment?
- Is there anything I need to avoid during or after treatment?
- Do I need medication? How much/how often?