Every doctor is different, but it’s important to find a doctor who makes you feel comfortable, respects you, and doesn’t intimidate you.
In the best of all possible worlds you and your doctor would work to keep you as healthy as possible. It’s worth a search, maybe even a fight with your insurance company, to find a doctor-partner. You also have to learn to do your part by preparing for appointments, writing things down, and being as clear as you can in explaining your symptoms and issues.
Before your appointment
- Write it down
- Be prepared with a prioritized list of problems and questions
- Have a list of prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies, herbals, vitamins, or other dietary supplements you’re taking. Download a medication tracking form (.pdf)
- Review your health insurance plan
Be clear about what your plan will or won't cover, especially if you choose to go out of network.
- Consider transportation issues.
Traveling a long way to see the right health-care provider is often an intelligent investment. However, it's wise to think through the costs in money, fatigue, and stress on family members.
Don’t be bashful
Anything that’s of concern to you, including problems with your mood, sexual function, thinking and memory, and bladder and bowel function, is of interest to your healthcare team. If you’re not sure what’s related to your MS and what’s not, ask your doctor or nurse to help you sort it out.
Patient Bill of Rights
To be treated with respect.
To have and to express my feelings and opinions.
To be listened to and to be taken seriously.
To set my own priorities.
To say no without feeling guilty.
To ask for what I want.
To get what I pay for.
To ask for information.
To make mistakes.
To choose not to assert myself.
To change my mind.
Patient Bill of Responsibilities
- To keep scheduled appointments.
- To be honest with the doctors and other health-care workers.
- To give information about my experience and condition as clearly and briefly as possible.
- To respect the doctors and health-care workers.
- To understand that no one has all the answers to MS.
- To follow the treatment plan agreed upon.