Alert
Close

Earn Double Rewards Points: Take the AARP Social Security True/False Quiz

AARP Bulletin

5 Things Your Doctor Dislikes About You

Don't be labeled a 'difficult patient'

4. You diagnose your own medical problem and tell the doctor how to treat it

Doctors grumble about patients who diagnose their own ailments or direct their own treatment. "When patients start diagnosing their own problems, we all have a problem," says Boston University's Price. "I just want them to tell me their symptoms."

Stein of New York University has the same complaint: "I don't want a patient to tell me what tests to order. Why come to me if you're going to run your own case?" He adds, "It would be much better to ask, 'Does such-and-such a test make sense for me?' Then we could have a reasonable discussion."

Here's a tip: Ask the doctor's advice, don't give him yours.

5. You start asking questions just as the doctor heads out the door

To get the most out of the short time you have for an office visit — anywhere between 15 and 20 minutes at latest count — it pays to come prepared with a list of questions you'd like answered. But doctors inwardly groan when you pull out a long list just as your appointment's ending. To keep the smile on your doctor's face and get the answers you need, mention at the start of your appointment that you have some questions to go over. That way, says NYU's Stein, you'll alert your doctor to leave time at the end of the visit for your questions.

Here's a tip: If you have a lot of questions, there may not be time to answer all of them. Put a star next to the five most important ones and ask those first.

Nissa Simon, who lives in New Haven, Conn., writes about nutrition and medical issues.

Get Medicare questions answered with the AARP Medicare Q&A Tool

Also of Interest

Visit the AARP home page every day for great deals and for tips on keeping healthy and sharp

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at JCPenney Optical.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AngiesList

Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.