Is it all understood?

Can you relate to this situation? You are sitting at the doctor’s office, having an important conversation about your health. And it’s all Greek to you?

Even though I have spent my entire professional life in the medical sector and am virtually  processing medical information and knowledge for my patients around the clock, I am just like many of you. You don’t believe me? But it is true. I am not omniscient; I do not have the knowledge of what to do in every special case of every disease there is. When I myself am concerned, I am sort of in a state of emergency.

Of course I am nervous when my doctor tells me the results of a check-up, because it could well be that she has bad news.

Especially in these situations I often only get pieces of what she tells me. I might not understand anything at first but then she has already continued the conversation and I am trying to make sure that I do not miss another important information by thinking about what she meant. I am sure that when I leave the practice, I can only reflect on about half of what the doctor has told me. And that besides the fact that I am rarely as focused as in a conversation with my doctor. When I am in a casual conversation I often remember completely superfluous details – unfortunately not at the doctors when it is a delicate health situation. Then everything just goes in one ear and straight out the other.

I have therefore taken to having my husband accompany me to important meetings. Then I can ask him afterwards: What exactly did she say?

What have you experienced at doctors appointments? Feel free to share your experiences and leave a comment. We would appreciate it.

Author: Prof. Dr. Dorothee Gaenshirt

 

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