5 Things I Need From My Doctors

Last updated: August 2022

Going to the doctor’s office is always stressful for me. Here are five things I want my asthma doctors to understand about our visits and the things I would like them to do to help reduce my anxiety.

5 Things I need my asthma doctors to understand

Please look at me when we talk

Now that we have electronic medical records, it seems my medical team spends most of the time staring at the computer screen and typing. I understand the importance of having accurate and complete information in my records, but it seems cold to stare at the screen the entire time and not look at me. I need to see your facial expressions and body language to ensure you understand what I am saying and vice versa.

Keep what I weigh private

Every time I go to a doctor’s appointment, they weigh me. I understand that if my weight has changed drastically, this could impact the medicines I take. I also understand that a big change in weight (up or down) could be a sign of a serious condition. However, if I saw my general practitioner yesterday and I am seeing my asthma specialist today, my weight has not changed significantly overnight.

Since all my doctors are part of the same health system, my current weight is clearly listed on my chart. And if you do weigh me, there is no need to yell the number out so everyone within a 50-foot radius can hear it. Please do not weigh me unless it is medically necessary.

I am nervous and sometimes get emotional

I am always nervous when I go to the doctor. It does not matter if it is our first or 100th visit. Why am I so nervous? Because my medical team has dismissed my concerns in the past. They have been rude to me. They blame me for my condition or symptoms. When I say my treatment plan is not working, they assume I am not adhering to the plan.

When I am treated poorly by my medical team, I have been known to cry. Sometimes I cry when I get good news or test results because I am so relieved to know all my hard work to manage my asthma is paying off. Sometimes I cry when the news is not so good. Yes, my chronic conditions make me emotional. I need my doctor to understand how hard managing multiple conditions can be.

Do not disregard my feedback

Of course, you went to medical school. You may even specialize in asthma management. However, when it comes to understanding what is happening in my body, I am the expert. I have been living with asthma for 28 years. I am a professional in recognizing early warning signs and symptoms. I have a lot of experience in what works best for me. Please trust my knowledge just as much as I trust yours.

Let me ask questions

A fifteen-minute visit is not a lot of time to cover everything. To maximize our short time together, I will have a list of questions for you. Please be patient with me when I ask these questions. Maybe you have had to answer them 30 times already that day. Or maybe you think my questions are not that intelligent. But it is information I need to know.

I am taking the time to ask you, the specialist. I am putting my trust in you and asking for your guidance. Please take the time to answer in a professional, calm way that I can understand.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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