Doctors’ Orders: 7 Tips They Wished Their Patients Followed


What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Patients often gripe about having to wait too long or not getting enough of the doctor's time, but we aren't the only ones with complaints. A recent survey of 660 primary-care doctors came up with seven things doctors wished their patients knew - and did.

If you’ve ever skipped a medication or forgotten advice from your doctor, there’s a good chance the doctor wishes you wouldn’t have.

After polling 660 primary-care doctors nationwide, the Consumer Reports National Research Center found that these are among the top complaints when it comes to patients.

The survey results – which Consumer Reports says “help create a road map toward a more productive relationship” with your doctor – reveal a list of tips that primary-care doctors want you to know…

1. Doctors desire a commitment

The most important step doctors said patients could take to get better care is to establish a long-term relationship with their primary-care doctor – 76 percent of doctors said this would help “very much.”

“A primary-care doctor should be your partner in overall health, not just someone you go to for minor problems or a referral to specialty care,” said Kevin Grumbach, a medical doctor and professor at the University of California at San Francisco.

2. Respect is a two-way street

Simply be respectful and courteous to the doctor…

  • 61 percent of doctors said it would help “very much.”
  • 70 percent said that since they had started practicing medicine, respect and appreciation from patients had gotten “a little” or “much” worse.

Of course, showing some R-E-S-P-E-C-T doesn’t have to mean being a passive patient…

  • Most doctors said that it was “somewhat” or “very” helpful for patients to ask them questions during their visits and even to sometimes question the doctor’s recommendations.
  • Only 4 percent said doing so wouldn’t be helpful.

3. Please take your medicine

The biggest gripe of 660 doctors? “Noncompliance with advice or treatment recommendations,” the study found.

  • Most doctors said noncompliance affected their ability to provide optimal care.
  • 37 percent said it did so “a lot.”

So what exactly would the doctor order? “Feel free to discuss, even debate, your doctor’s treatment plan while you’re still in the office. Then do your best to comply,” the study advises. “If you’re having side effects, are unsure whether you’re following instructions properly, or experience new or recurrent symptoms, tell your doctor immediately.”

4. Pain is tough to treat

When it comes to pain, it turns out that doctors are harder on themselves than their patients are. Although 79 percent of patients said that their doctor effectively minimized their pain or discomfort…

  • Only 37 percent of doctors said they considered themselves “very” effective.
  • Only 60 percent said they considered themselves “somewhat” effective.

“For patients with chronic conditions, medical science can’t necessarily take away all of their suffering,” said Ronald Epstein, a medical doctor and director at New York’s University of Rochester Medical Center. “If you have a chronic condition, the important thing is to find a doctor who listens and involves you in decision making.”

5. It helps to keep track yourself

Earlier this month, Money Talks News interviewed experts who suggested that patients keep track of their own medical history and even bring an extra set of ears to doctor visits, and this study just goes to show exactly how many doctors agree.

  • 89 percent of doctors said that keeping an informal log of treatments, drugs, changes in condition, notes from previous doctor visits, and tests and procedures could be helpful (while only 33 percent of patients do so on a regular basis).
  • 80 percent of doctors said that bringing a friend or relative to your visit could be beneficial (while only 28 percent of patients actually do).

6. Research online, but carefully

While 61 percent of patients report reading up on their medical conditions online, doctors aren’t so convinced that online research is a good idea.

  • Almost half of doctors said it helps very little or not at all.
  • Only 8 percent said it was very helpful.

Of course, that doesn’t mean patients should stop. Instead, we should be more wary of which sites we use. Rather than use a general search engine, the survey suggests going directly to trusted sources, such as government websites…

The survey also suggests high-quality academic treatment centers’ websites…

7. Doctors are pressed for time. Don’t make it worse.

Doctors cited insurance paperwork as the biggest obstacle to optimal care.

  • Most doctors said insurance red tape interfered with the care they provided.
  • 42 percent said it did so “a lot.”

So, what’s a patient to do about this necessary evil? “To get the most out of your time, plan ahead,” the study recommends. “Jot down a list of questions or concerns you’d like to address during your appointment, and prioritize them so you get to the most important ones first.” For more tips to plan ahead, be sure to also read 6 Tips to Save Time and Money at the Doctor’s Office.

You might also be interested in two other recent stories:  Health Care Without Insurance – $50/Month? and Health Care Without Insurance – Medi-Share

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Lookin’ Good! How to Get a Killer Deal on Eyeglasses

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,972 more deals!