Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Do You Need a Coach for a Doctor's Visit?

news you may not knowNow, Get In There...

Are you a sports fan? No? Hmm... Don't love the crack of the bat and the crunch of Cracker Jack? Just as soon pass on the chance to catch a glimpse of the latest quarterback with a rocket attached to his shoulder socket? Fair enough, but...

Then why would you be on the hunt for a personal coach?

Well, according to researchers at The Cochrane Library, if you have plans to visit the doctor you just may benefit from a little pre-session coaching. They studied the impact of coaching on patient satisfaction and found that patient's who received coaching just prior to doctor's appointments were more satisfied with their care.

The coaching consisted of helping patients organize their thoughts and formulate appropriate questions for their visit. This resulted in the patient receiving more useful information during their visit, and typically also extended the length of the visit slightly.

Let's face it - doctor's visits are high stress and patients are at a huge disadvantage. Anxiety, lack of expertise, feeling hurried, and other factors can lead to a disappointing visit.

How do you best prepare?

Plan...

The experts recommend you plan ahead. Take time to prepare. Think through your symptoms and questions. Ask yourself what you most want to accomplish during your visit, and what are your most important questions. Make notes, so you won't get caught up in the moment and forget. Finally, be determined and expect answers. If you're not satisfied, or don't understand what your doctor said, ask for clarification.

The coach? Well... If you don't have a personal medical coach - who does? - try the bathroom mirror, or your sister, or, when the UPS guy drops off that package, practice by telling him, "You know, I've had this ache just behind my sternum for about..."

To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily. To learn more about preparing for a doctor's appointment, see this from The-Health-Pages.com, or this from the American Heart Association.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Suzanne said...

Gee, Tim. Everyone needs a coach!

Suzanne Lieurance
The Working Writer's Coach
http://www.workingwriterscoach.com

3:15 PM  
Blogger tim said...

Suzanne:

I thought you'd find this post interesting.

Thanks for stopping by,

tim

3:23 PM  

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