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10 Ways to Improve Your Medical Appointments

10 Ways to Improve Your Medical Appointments

One of the most important relationships we have outside of family and friends are the ones we share with our doctors and practitioners.  In this era of patient-centered care, the focus to the patients’ expectations on their doctor/practitioner have now outweighed the expectation of the doctor on the patient. So, is this a good thing? Yes and no. Like any good relationship it takes 2 parties to make it work. The best relationships are formed and continue to grow based on how the parties interact.

These 10 points will help empower you, the patient to better control your destiny in these situations. It is your health after all.

1. Before your appointment make a list of questions. Make it no longer than 5 but realize you will probably only get to 3. Focus on what matters most.

Hint: Think about your objective for the appointment and don’t let it get lost in your quest to be cured instantly.

2. Always aim to be the first patient of the day (this is also applicable to surgery).

Why? Everyone is fresh and open-minded. Your doctor has not been jaded by 10 other patients and this is your opportunity to start his or her day off on the right foot.

3. Listen after you ask a question, do not ramble on.

The art of the pause is very important as it allows the professional to regroup his or her thoughts and shows respect on your end.

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4. Do not bring your own research or opinions from Dr. Google.

Instead use your research to form your questions. Remember you are not an expert nor is your doctor on everything, but you are the expert on you.  As well, don’t push for what you perceive to be the issue. Use the appointment time wisely to explore and take the proper next steps.

How to phrase your own findings: I wanted to understand what I was experiencing, and found this online – what do you think?

5. Look your doctor or practitioner in the eye when you greet and speak to them.

Accept the same in return.Jumping right in with issues gets everyone on edge for no reason. Eye contact changes the way we respond and lowers our cortisol levels.

6. Ask your doctor or practitioner how they are.

Acknowledgement that we are all the same human species makes for a level playing field so all parties feel more comfortable.

7. If you don’t like your doctor or have a personality clash get a new one – you are doing everyone a favour.

The other reasons that may call for this are:

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A. Wait times to see him or her

B. Your first language is not English – find someone who speaks your mother tongue

C. The support staff make you uncomfortable or continuously make errors

D. The doctor has poor listening skills

8. No one is perfect.

If something is not working or makes you uncomfortable it is your life/health. Speak directly to your doctor/practitioner and resolve or move on. Many people feel intimidated by a doctor or practitioner – if your intuition says something or you were not understood speak up.

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Is it your intuition or you?

A. Are you looking to hear something your doctor is not telling you?

B. Are you not listening?

C. Looking for an excuse not to get well and avoid the doctor’s office

9. Don’t look for problems.

Maybe you are having emotional issues or hate your job. Yes, you can manifest something and get pills, but remember the saying: Be careful what you wish for.

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If you are having any issues – change your appointment and maybe take a day off instead.  Sometimes, the doctor serves as a friend/psychologist.  Because of the nature of how a practice is set-up they are limited for time.  You must acknowledge this as well, and ensure that what you are asking is valid and within their scope.

Pills do not solve life problems. A prescription to be happier and take a walk just might…

10. A good patient forms a bond with a practitioner/doctor that allows him or her to grow with that practice and as health issues occur call upon that professional for help.

However, you are first and foremost responsible for your health. Take it seriously as your life depends on it.

A doctor is just a human with a different skill set.  Often we put too much on their shoulders, when in fact it truly starts with ourselves.  Before you do to your appointment audit your lifestyle: food, sleep, habits… be honest and also share these with your doctor.

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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