When you go to the doctor, you may worry that they won’t listen to you, they won’t understand what you’re saying or they’ll make a mistake that they’ll later blame on miscommunication. After all, you know your body well. This is a condition you live with every day. Your doctor is just seeing you for 10 minutes. How do you make sure they listen and understand what is really going on?

One of the best things you can do is to be specific when talking about the condition. Include as many details as you can. If you’re dealing with chronic pain, for instance, you may want to mention things like:

  • Precisely where the pain is located
  • When it began and how long it has lasted
  • If you feel it all the time
  • How bad it gets at its worst
  • If anything seems to make it flare up
  • If you have tried other treatment methods, including things you may have tried on your own without ever seeing a doctor
  • What the pain keeps you from doing

Maybe you’ve also done some research on the side. You suspect it may be a certain condition. The doctor is not going to take your word over their own, but it doesn’t hurt to mention what you suspect. This will ensure that they consider it and offering details like this also engrosses them in the conversation so that they really do listen to you.

Doctors do make mistakes. It can happen, even when you take all of these steps. If you suffer harm as a result, make sure you know what legal rights you have.