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Here are some tips for building a shared relationship with your health professional:

  • Choose a health professional with whom you can build a relationship. Think about what you are looking for in a health professional. Find out whether the health professional is well-trained and experienced, available when you might need him or her, and willing to work as a partner with you. It may take more than one appointment for you to find out whether you can partner with a health professional. If you find that you are not able to build a satisfying relationship with a health professional, it may be time to change.
  • Tell your health professional how you would like to be treated. Tell your health professional not only that you want to share in the decision-making process but also what you expect from him or her.
  • Practice prevention. Many health problems can be prevented by getting immunizations, being screened for health problems, and making healthy lifestyle choices. You also can treat many minor problems on your own by using common sense and monitoring how well your efforts are working.
  • Be knowledgeable about your health problems. Find out as much as possible about any health condition or disease that you have. Ask your health professional for written information or local resources, such as national organizations. Know what you can do to care for yourself.
  • Communicate your health problems. Give as much information as possible about your medical history and your current problems so that your health professional can be as accurate as possible in making a diagnosis. Let your health professional know your values, beliefs, fears, and concerns regarding any condition or treatment decisions.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 19, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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