Pain management physicians and their patients ideally work together to come up with treatment plans and follow through on them. The Kindly MD way is to work with our patients as partners in better healthcare. We invite them to take active roles in their healthcare journeys. Taking an active role starts with routine visits.
Regardless of where you are on your particular journey, taking an active role in your healthcare visits can help a lot. If you are not sure why, keep reading. The remainder of this post offers invaluable information.
Let us start by discussing what taking an active role in healthcare visits actually looks like. Bear in mind that a “visit” is any interaction you have with a pain management physician. It could be an annual physical, a routine maintenance visit, or any other type of interaction.
Taking an active role is characterized by several things:
Think of taking an active role in terms of establishing a relationship. For any relationship to work, both people need to be present. They need to communicate freely, being willing to be open and honest about everything. Both need to be willing to engage in questions and answers, problem-solving, coming up with new ideas, etc.
As for how all of this helps, remember that your healthcare provider relies on you as a guide. Whether it is a doctor, physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner, your provider can only offer advice based on available information. Your being an active participant in your visits gives your provider much more information to work with.
If your doctor is trying to help you better manage chronic pain, for instance, he needs to know how you feel. He needs to know your level of pain today as compared to when you saw him last month. The same is true for any condition. We aren’t limiting ourselves to pain management here.
Taking an active role in your healthcare visits helps your provider understand your expectations. Again, let us use chronic pain as an example. A nurse practitioner may wonder why you're not responding to a particular treatment. She may ask all sorts of questions designed to better understand your expectations. Why? Because maybe the biggest issue you're having is a misunderstanding of how a particular treatment helps.
Maybe your expectations don't match up with treatment realities. And if that's the case, your pain management physician would want to know what your expectations are so that she can make appropriate recommendations. Perhaps your current treatment isn't the best option based on your expectations. Maybe there is something else you can try.
If we could drive home just one point here it would be this: the healthcare journey you are on is ultimately your journey. Pain management physicians can only help you along that journey. We cannot travel it for you. That's why we want you to be an active partner in determining where it goes.
If you've never tried it before, we encourage you to take an active role in all your healthcare visits. Ask questions. Talk about your concerns. Let your provider know your expectations for treatment. By becoming an active participant rather than a passive patient, you can help direct your healthcare journey to a more positive outcome.