As patient and physician, ours is more than a relationship; it's a partnership. A partnership is based on mutual trust and confidence. I want to ensure that you get an accurate diagnosis and treatment that's best and most satisfactory for you.
To give you the best, most thorough care possible, I need some things from you:
1. Communication: If you don't understand what I'm telling you, if you don't understand a treatment, prescription instructions, or my diagnosis, tell me. If I explain again and it's still not clear, say so. With a complex topic, sometimes it takes two or three explanations to clarify all the details. I'm willing to explain as many times as needed; I simply need you to remind me.
2. Clarification: Tell me what you need to know about your condition. If I've told you to take it easy until your condition improves, and you want to know if you can go to work, watch television, or go shopping, ask.
3. Satisfaction: Be sure you're comfortable with what I've recommended, and if you're not, tell me. We can discuss alternatives, or, if there are no options, I’ll try to do a better job of making you feel more at ease and explaining the choices you face.
4. Understanding: Understand that medicine is a science, but it's also an art. Doctors don't always have the perfect, no-questions-asked diagnosis, treatment, or cure. I'll use my knowledge to evaluate your condition. I can do a better job of treating you if you will keep me informed, ask me questions, and give me honest, complete information about your medical history and current symptoms or problems.
5. Information: Tell me or one of my staff when something is troubling you, whether it's that my front door is difficult to open, that one of us was short-tempered with you, or that the prescription I gave you doesn't seem to be working. If I know when you're unhappy or not fully satisfied, I can do something about it. If you keep it to yourself, I'll never know -- and sometimes the information you keep to yourself may affect the course of your treatment or recovery.
In return for your involvement and communication, I promise I'll communicate with you. I believe the result will be a better medicine and a stronger relationship.
Sam Speron, M.D.