Here is expert advice on how to get the best health care – in or out of the doctor’s office. This comes from Prevention Magazine.

  • Use the right words to describe your pain. When you’re visiting the doctor for pain, don’t just say “It hurts, doc!” Instead, use words like pulsating, shooting, throbbing, squeezing, crushing, burning, pressure, piercing, dull – anything that can describe the type of pain you’re feeling. Jeanne Kiefner, who’s a professor for Rowan University’s Certified School Nursing Program, says descriptive, precise language can help doctors figure out what’s going on.
  • Don’t be shy with the receptionist. Ashley Sittner is a pediatrician’s receptionist. And she says a lot of people seem to think the word private – as in “I need the doctor to call me back about a private health issue” – comes across as urgent and important, and it might get their doctor to call them back sooner. But a lot of doctors won’t even return a call if they have no idea what it’s about. So when the receptionist asks “What is this regarding?” tell them!
  • Ask for a cheaper prescription. Pat Carroll is the author of What Nurses Know and Doctors Don't Have Time to Tell You. And she says that when she was an ER nurse, she’d get phone calls from patients, almost in tears, saying they were at the pharmacy and couldn’t afford to pay for their prescription. But when she’d ask the patient’s doctor if there was a reasonable alternative, not once did they tell her that the higher-priced mediation was essential. So ask your doctor up front about the price of medication and generic brands. Chances are, they’ll help you figure something out.