Getting to Know You
One of the most important steps in maintaining good health is making visits to the doctor’s office for regular checkups. These appointments involve surveys, physical examinations, and blood-work that can verify that everything is as it should be. If anything is out of the ordinary, this is the opportunity for the doctor to identify it, gain insights about its possible causes with further testing, and provide diagnoses, treatments, and lifestyle guidelines for the mitigation of risks and recovery from ailments.
However, patients oftentimes find it momentarily convenient to be less than accurate and transparent with their physicians as a result of various factors including social desirability, denial, lack of trust, embarrassment, and the need for privacy. This is the WRONG approach to take in every sense of the word. While it may seem advantageous to maintain your privacy from your medical care providers, this is a dangerous path to take, as it prevents your doctor from being able to do their job correctly. You needn’t worry about any of the aforementioned concerns when it comes to communicating with your doctor. Here’s why...
Your doctor requires as much relevant information about you as possible, with the greatest level of accuracy, in order to provide you with the best care. Any compromises, partial truths, omissions, or convenient misstatements could potentially spell disaster; especially when it comes to things like diagnosing you, prescribing medication, and recommending lifestyle choices for your health.
There is no need to be pressured by social desirability or be in denial about your habits or your conditions when it comes to your healthcare. Your doctor will not be judging you as a person, only trying to ensure that everything is okay. Denial and social desirability are natural tendencies that we are all prone towards, which we must first recognize in order to overcome.
It is also an exercise in futility to work with a physician when there is a lack of trust, a tendency for embarrassment, or a perceived need for privacy. Your doctor will not find humor or opportunity to shame you for your physical condition or lifestyle choices. Doctors take an oath requiring that they maintain doctor-patient confidentiality. That means that for anything short of you breaking the law in a way that makes you a danger to yourself or others, your doctor cannot share any of the sensitive information that you share with them in a way that discloses your identity. While anonymous medical data is an essential part of the professional field of healthcare, medical practice in districts across the United States is subject to strict regulations of confidentiality under civil and criminal penalty.
What to Share
- Although it may seem discomforting to share some of this information with another person, let alone an outsider, you have nothing to worry about. Make certain that you tell your doctor all of the following:
- Medical history including allergies, surgeries, illnesses, vaccinations, injuries, and even family medical history
- Dietary, sleeping, and exercising habits
- Consumption of alcohol and tobacco, as well as prescription, over-the-counter, and illicit drugs
- Sexual activity status including orientation, use of protection, frequency and number of partners
- Psychological state including potential causes of stress, the presence of anxiety, anger, and signs of depression such as loss of interest, tiredness, loss of memory, and destructive thoughts
- Any physical pain, irritation, discomfort, or abnormalities that you may be experiencing, even in areas that may seem otherwise unbecoming to share
- Your hobbies and interests
Your doctor is your confidant on the path to a healthy and happy life. With US Family Health Plan our TRICARE Prime members get to select the primary care physician of their choice from within our network of over 20,000 top ranked providers. While care recipients under other TRICARE Prime options are subject to mandatory assignment to medical centers with rotating teams of physicians, USFHP lets our beneficiaries build a partnership with a doctor that’s right for them.
Whether choosing a doctor by personal referral or online review, with USFHP the choice is always yours to make.
For more information and to enroll with USFHP call now at 1-800-241-4848 and let us get you covered!