I had an interesting experience at a pharmacy-based clinic the other day: the practitioner asked me how I preferred to receive my health information. Did I want to read printed written instructions? Listen to them? Go on the Internet?
She was the first person to ever ask me that question, and it prompted this musing. In an era of short, problem-focused medical visits, we all might be more satisfied with the outcomes of our health-related discussions if we practiced “Ask Me 3”. At every health interaction, ask the provider:
- What is my main problem?
- What do I need to do?
- Why is it important for me to do this?
The answers you get will allow you to raise concerns about allergies to medicine your provider may not be aware of, or a drug dosing schedule you don’t understand.
Now, if I could only get my mother to ask her doctor these three questions…
Yours in health,
Robin Swift, MPH
Health Programs Director
Clergy Health Initiative