• Alicia Paz

How to Talk to Your Healthcare Provider and Get Heard!

I have heard so many stories from clients through the years about being mistreated by providers and read many charts notes that left me in shock. So, for the last seven years, I have been attending appointments with clients. Attending medical meetings, taking notes, and advocating has been part of my day job.

It isn't easy to advocate for oneself, tell a provider "no," or hear judgments or stigmatizing language. There is a power imbalance present, and overall it can often feel scary.

I collected some tips that have worked both with my clients solo and when I joined them at appointments.

Before the Appointment

  1. Write things down. Prioritize what your goals are. For example, is it a medication refill? Concerns about new or worsening symptoms or side effects? Include dates; how long has this been going on? Has it gotten worse? Bring this with you; providers appreciate organization.

  2. Choose an appointment time and date that works best for you. Additionally, I find providers will have more time during morning appointments before things get too busy and not right before lunch.

During the Appointment

  1. Be on time- this may seem obvious, but the later you arrive, the less time you have with your provider.