Strategies for Communicating with Multiple Doctors


She then added “It’s my own fault I had the stroke, I went off my blood thinners in anticipation of a procedure with a specialist and didn’t talk to my primary doctor before doing it.”

Unfortunately her story is not unique.  Even though there are more systems in place than ever before to support continuity of care and communication between physicians, I wanted to share some pro-active tips when you or your loved one have multiple care providers.

  1. Don’t assume that your doctors communicate with each other (or view updates on your electronic record).

  2. ALWAYS bring an updated list of your current medications to EVERY appointment, noting when they are taken and dosage, better yet bring the actual bottles to each appointment.  This way nothing gets lost in translation (including your dentist/chiropractor). 

  3. Along the same lines, ask each doctor for a list of the medications they have on file for you to compare to your list. 

  4. If you have scheduled a test or procedure with a specialist call your primary doctor’s office to make them aware of it. 

  5. When having any tests run, ask them to send a copy of the results to your primary doctor as well.  If they say it’s available on your e-record, politely ask again that they make his office aware of it.

  6. You have the right to get copies of your medical records and tests results.  Make sure to ask for a copy for your personal records or understand how to access them from online portals.

  7. When it comes to your health, NOTHING is too small to share.  If there are ANY changes in how you feel should be shared with ALL of your doctors/specialists. 

  8. ASK QUESTIONS! Many times our visits are a whirlwind of information, however, you have the right to ask as many questions (even if they are the same ones over and over) until you FULLY understand the information being given to you by the provider!

  9. You have the right to refuse treatment of any kind until you fully understand why it was ordered and what possible outcomes/side-effects are.


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