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Good communication with your doctor leads to good advice

December 2, 2014


First things first, I found out not long ago that I have relapsing MS. I'll admit it's been rough, but I'm coming to terms with it. Here's the thing. My doctor is smart but I'm not sure we're “clicking.” I wonder if we should have a really great rapport? Should I like my neurologist as much as, say, my hairstylist? I guess I just want to put together the best team possible.

Looking for the Best Doctor for Me

Nurse Elaine replies:

Having the right fit with your healthcare provider is really important to a lot of people. Does that mean you should want to go for coffee? Maybe not. But you need to be able to communicate with him or her.

You and your healthcare provider are in a relationship. It's not a “friendship” but it is a relationship. And if you feel that it's really not working for you, you are well within your rights to ask for a second opinion. If it does come to that, the National MS Society can help you find options for local healthcare providers. It lets you search by ZIP code for MS care centers, rehab facilities, and more.

First, though, it might be helpful to try to figure out what is making you uncomfortable. Is it the information you're being given? Is it that you're feeling rushed? Are you confused by terms he or she uses? If you're feeling rushed, you may try coming in with written questions. That way you can maximize the time you have in the examination room. If you're confused by what's being said, maybe try bringing someone along who can help you recall the facts. At the very least, you can always ask your healthcare provider to rephrase a response if you're not following it.

If you feel that he or she is being too aggressive or not aggressive enough, speak up! Given the chance, most people will be happy to explain why they've made the recommendations they've made.

If you find you've tried all these communication suggestions, and nothing makes you feel more comfortable, it may be time to consider making a change.

— Nurse Elaine, MS One to One® Nurse

Nurse Elaine ; Doctor Conversations ; Communication


MS One to One® Nurse, Elaine

Nurse Elaine
Helping since 2012
Posts: 3

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