Dr. Natasha Withers: In a resent survey two out of three Americans said they would choose not to see their primary care provider even when they had health concerns. Are you cheating yourself out of needed healthcare? Here are some reasons why you might be avoiding your doctor.
You're nervous, you're afraid of getting bad news, being judged or being embarrassed. You may not want to know about the health consequences of your behaviors such as drinking, smoking, stress, lack of exercise and sexual activity. But remember, if you don't tell your doctor, he or she can't help you. You'll feel you're being run over by the system.
If you feel rushed during a visit, frustrated over long wait times, inconvenience by appointments that start late or put off by cumbersome processes of making appointments, you probably feel like you want to avoid the whole mess. If that's a case, speak up. Tell your doctor why you feel his or her practice is not serving you. You don't feel listened to.
People don't always feel that their doctors listen to them and often they're right. One study reported that patients were only able to speak for 12 seconds before being interrupted. Be prepared, show up to appointments with the written list of priorities to keep you on topic and as to be able to finish explaining your concerns.
I am Dr. Natasha. Live Well!