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How a Strong Doctor-Patient Relationship May Improve Your Health

  • Category: LiveSmart
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  • Written By: Baldwin
Doctor talking to a patient

You may be surprised by the benefits you'll enjoy when you get along well with your doctor.

The relationship between a doctor and a patient is an important one. Like any healthy relationship, it should be built on open communication, mutual respect and trust.

There's nothing more valuable than your health—and partnering with a healthcare provider you feel is smart, compassionate and caring can go a long way towards keeping you healthier for a long time to come. If you don't currently have a doctor you feel comfortable with, it may be time to find a new one. Taking time to find doctors you can easily talk to and who have your best interests at heart is worth the investment you put in to find them.

Here are some benefits of a strong doctor-patient relationship:

  • You may be more likely to make appointments. If you have a strong relationship with one or more of your doctors, you're more likely to go to appointments. Keeping up with routine appointments and follow-ups can help you stay healthier.
  • You may be more likely to share and ask questions. Feeling comfortable talking to your healthcare provider is important. It allows you to more easily open up about any issues or concerns you have and to ask questions so that you are better informed about how to best take care of your health.
  • You may be more likely to discuss difficult subjects. Many patients feel uncomfortable discussing personal subjects with their doctors, such as addiction, sexual dysfunction or mental health issues. If you have a good relationship with your physician, you're more likely to feel comfortable broaching touchy subjects and asking for advice or treatment options.
  • You may be more likely to take an active role in your care. When you trust your healthcare provider, you're more likely to place trust in the suggestions he or she makes. This may push you to take better care of yourself, go for tests or screenings and follow through with other recommendations offered to improve your health.
  • You may be more likely to think outside the box. Sometimes, the best solution to a health problem seems a bit outside the box. People with a strong doctor-patient relationship are typically more willing to discuss various alternatives to a problem and to decide together which is the best option for the patient.
  • You may feel more in control. It's important to feel like you are an active participant in healthcare decisions and to feel like you can talk to and trust your doctor. This not only increases your satisfaction with your healthcare experience, but it also makes you feel like you have more control over your own health and well-being.

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Date Last Reviewed: January 19, 2023

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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