Step 6: Start to raise questions and present options to your provider.
Actions speak louder than words! This is so true when it comes to convincing your physician that you are serious about taking more control over your health management. This should take the form of discussion at first. One way is to discuss findings or literature that you may have come across about your illness or condition. This will prompt a further discussion around options, therapies and other issues relating to the bigger picture of your overall health.
This step will prove to be very important. In the traditional doctor-patient interaction, the doctor speaks and the patient listens ... and hopefully follows! This is usually one way, with very little questioning ... but also very little learning as well.
In the new dynamic, the patient, through questions and other insight, takes the conversation away from the very specific patient (i.e., you) and applies it to other situations - thereby removing the power differential that exists between the two (between patient and doctor) and making the two of you equal participants in a conversation about other things. This perception of equality then lends itself nicely as the conversation then returns to you and your next steps. The physician will begin to even ask for your opinion and input.
Should your questions and examples provide some further options, so much the better as they can now be applied to your health situation. But even if not, this demonstrates to your physician that you are thinking about your illness and want to do as much as you can to maintain your health.
I truly believe that all physicians want that - to support you in improving your health.