In our DIY Checkup series we've been talking about simple strategies to help take control of our health. Last week we spoke about setting long term health priorities with Dr. Andrea Price, who said that it is important to get to the doctor for your regular checkups. But for many, just making an appointment can be challenging.
Takeaway listener Hugh Appet responded on our website:
"One of the doctors mentioned as an example, someone who has not been to a doctor in five years. How about 20? Why don't insurance companies make it mandatory? The big thing, for me, is phobia. I tried making an appointment with my forcibly chosen primary care doctor under my health plan. The phone receptionist was so brusk that I couldn't get out what I needed to. So no appointment.
This week, we talk with Newsweek health reporter Kate Dailey and Dr. Pauline Chen about how to navigate the chaotic health system to find the right doctor and how to build a trusting relationship with your doctor once you make it to the office.
Building trust and being able to communicate openly and clearly with your practitioner is a key element in getting quality care. "You can have the most skilled physician, the most well trained physician in the world, but if that physician isn't listening to what you're saying or addressing your fears, you won't be getting the kind of care you need," says Dr. Chen.