How to Effectively Communicate with Your Doctor

Shell Point Physician

“My doctor doesn’t listen” is one of the most common complaints voiced about medical care. Statistically, an average appointment is scheduled for fifteen minutes. No wonder most of us leave our appointment less than satisfied with the experience!

There are things that you can do to help your doctor understand you. Your doctor will be able to provide better and more consistent care, if you take the following steps:

  • Prepare for your visit. Make notes for yourself, starting with the most acute complaint and working down to the least. Your doctor will appreciate your preparation and be able to address your issues more succinctly.
  • Be honest, even if some topics are embarrassing. You doctor has been trained to deal with many issues in a professional manner. If the topic is still uncomfortable for you, write it down and hand it to your doctor with the explanation that you are too uncomfortable to talk about it.
  • Ask about new medications your doctor prescribes. Make sure you understand what he/she is prescribing, what it is for, how often to take it and ask for any literature that may be available.
  • Finally, sum up the visit in your own words. Before leaving the office, say “So today you recommended that I…” This allows you to discuss any points of confusion so your doctor can clarify them on the spot.


It is also important to remember that just as any other area of our lives, we won’t always like or get along with everyone that we meet. We all must take responsibility for our health in order to receive the best care possible!

To learn more about assisted living at Shell Point Retirement Community, contact McKenzie Millis or Vivian Ciulla at 239-454-2077. For information about skilled nursing and comprehensive healthcare services at Shell Point, visit