Is something going on that you need to talk to your doctor about? Though diving into these uncomfortable topics may seem daunting, there are several strategies you can implement to make a talk with doc less stressful.

Write it down

If you’re grappling with how to approach a conversation with your doctor, create a list of any symptoms, feelings or pain you’re experiencing to use as a reference during your appointment. Having a written list will provide you with talking points to support the conversation. You may also consider practicing your talking points before the appointment. Figuring out what you want to say and how you want to say it will help alleviate stress during your visit.


Be honest about your discomfort

Being honest is critical to communicating with your doctor. When you begin to describe your issue, try opening up the conversation with a phrase such as, “I feel uncomfortable talking about this.” Making your doctor aware of your discomfort will signal to them that they should proceed in a sensitive manner.


Use common terms

If you’re unsure what to say because you don’t understand what the problem is, use common terminology to describe what you’re feeling. For example, telling your doctor that it feels like you have a bowling ball on your chest to describe breathing pain will help them make a proper diagnosis.


Be direct

Though it may feel uncomfortable to be completely open and honest about the issue you’re having, the best route is to be fully transparent with what’s going on. Rather than explaining things indirectly, try using actionable statements such as, “I feel this” or “I hurt here.” When you give your doctor a clear and concise message, it helps them understand how to help you.


Remember your doctor is here to help

If you’re having an issue, chances are you’re not alone. Doctors see thousands of patients, and their goal is always to address their needs. As you prepare for your appointment, keep in mind that being open and honest with your doctor is never a bad thing and can only help.

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