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There is a quote by Earvin “Magic” Johnson which states,

“At the doctor, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Nobody ever died of embarrassment”.

This statement may seem a little outlandish, but the statement itself is true. Many individuals are afraid to ask their doctor questions. The irony is that Americans show no fear when inquiring about their new car purchase, a mistake on a phone bill, or if a particular dress comes in another color. Yet when it comes to something as imperative as our health, we lose our inquisitive nature and become shy. But why is this the case?

One reason for this unexpected ailment of reluctance, may be due to a feeling of embarrassment overtaking individuals when they enter the doctor’s office. Some individuals may already feel weary about asking a close friend or family member about a personal medical issue or health question (Reference from Family.com). This feeling only intensifies when the individual is with a doctor they only see once a year.

So with all this being said, is there a cure for ailment of reluctance? Yes! Americans can break free from the ties of embarrassment that hold them down by preparing questions in  advance that they would like answers to before going to the doctor. Such questions may involve specific health concerns, treatment options, side effects brought on by medication, ect. Preparing a list of these questions in advance can boost your confidence while at the doctor’s office and reduce some of the nervous energy you may obtain while there.

Another solution to fight embarrassment while at the doctor’s office is to acquire a physician that will listen and respond to any questions or concerns you may have. Everyone has the right to leave the doctor’s office with a clear understanding of their medication condition and treatment options. However if you feel as though you are being denied this right; you have the right to ask that you physician takes the time to respond to the questions and concerns you have. You also have the right to seek a second opinion regarding your diagnosis or treatment options, if you desire more understanding after leaving the doctor’s office.

Lastly, if you are still experiencing anxiety about going to the doctor’s office and asking questions, ask a friend or family member to accompany you on your visit. Having a “buddy” at the doctor’s office can be beneficial in helping you feel more confident during your doctor’s visits and allow you to recall what the questions that you wanted to ask your doctor. Your

“buddy” can also assist you in annotating what your doctor says if you are unable to do so (Reference From ELDR).

No doctor is a mind reader. You cannot expect them to help you, if you are not honest with them or yourself about what may be bothering you. The more questions you ask, the better your understanding about your overall health and the more confident you will feel. The asking of questions can also allow for a closer relationship between you and your doctor.

Photo Credit: hang_in_there on Flickr

Remember there is no such thing as a dumb question!

For more questions that everyone should know while at the doctor’s office visit:

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=13683

http://www.ahrq.gov/questionsaretheanswer/questions.htm