How to Talk to Your Doctor

By Rachel Grumman Bender for

How to Talk to Your Doctor

Twenty minutes. That’s how long Americans get to spend with their primary care physicians on average. (You’ll actually spend more time in the waiting room 23 minutes on average, according to the healthcare consultants Press Ganey.) It goes without saying that it’s important to use those 1,200 seconds wisely.

Knowing which issues to bring up and how to frame it in a way that perks up your doctor’s ears can help you make the most of the face-time with your physician, benefitting your health and your beauty. “The smaller the time frame of the meeting, the more important it is to come prepared with three to four absolutely bottom line, must-deal-with issues,” says Marie Savard, M.D., an internist specializing in women's health and author of Ask Dr. Marie: Straight Talk and Reassuring Answers to Your Most Private Questions.

We’ve pulled together the most common health concerns, from sleep problems to stress, when to pipe up about it and how to frame it in a way that grabs your physician’s attention. As a general rule, go with your gut instinct: “At the end of the day it’s your body and if you feel something is off or not right, you need to respond to it,” says Dr. Savard.

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