Here are some tips for building a shared relationship with your
Choose a health professional with whom you can build a relationship. Think about what you are looking for
in a health professional. Find out whether the health professional is
well-trained and experienced, available when you might need him or her, and
willing to work as a partner with you. It may take more than one appointment
for you to find out whether you can partner with a health professional. If you
find that you are not able to build a satisfying relationship with a health
professional, it may be time to change.
Tell your health professional how you would like to be treated. Tell your health
professional not only that you want to share in the decision-making process but
also what you expect from him or her.
Practice prevention. Many health problems can be prevented by getting
immunizations, being screened for health problems, and making healthy lifestyle
choices. You also can treat many minor problems on your own by using common
sense and monitoring how well your efforts are working.
Be knowledgeable about your health problems.
Find out as much as possible about any health condition or disease that you
have. Ask your health professional for written information or local resources,
such as national organizations. Know what you can do to care for
Communicate your health problems.
Give as much information as possible about your medical history and your
current problems so that your health professional can be as accurate as
possible in making a diagnosis. Let your health professional know your values,
beliefs, fears, and concerns regarding any condition or treatment
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.