Going with a Family Member to the Doctor

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Going to the doctor can be stressful. The patient may feel hurried or anxious, and may forget to mention important information. Thats why having a friend or family member along can be beneficial. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

It can be helpful for you to go with a family member to a doctors visit. You can help during and after the visit by:

Letting the doctor know the patients concerns and issues, if needed

Translating for the patient if there are language or cultural barriers

Helping the patient understand the diagnosis and treatment, such as taking medicine

Helping the patient make treatment decisions, and

Remembering and helping the patient follow the doctors advice and instructions

Family usually includes parents, children, siblings, or a spouse or partner. However, you do not have to be related to the patient to be considered a family member. Other examples of family at a doctors visit are the patients hired caregivers, neighbors, friends, or clergy and church members.

The office visit is for the patient. Do not ask the doctor to take care of your medical problems during this visit. Give the doctor time to talk separately with the patient.

If there are problems in the family, the doctor can make a referral for family therapy.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.