Doctor’s Guide

As you know, it’s important to make the most of the time you spend with your doctor to ensure you get answers to all your questions, and to provide the information your doctor needs to properly assess and manage your symptoms.
This guide is designed to help you do just that by prompting productive discussions with your doctor. Spend a few minutes reviewing the suggestions below as you prepare for your next appointment.
Write down any questions before your appointment. When compiling your list, keep in mind there are no insignificant questions. When you’re managing a disease as complex as lupus, every concern is important. And write down the doctor’s answers as well. It will ease the tension of trying to remember every detail, and allow you to review the doctor’s instructions at home.  
Discuss any changes in your health since your last appointment. Do you have any new symptoms? Has your fatigue or pain worsened? Based on what you tell the doctor, he or she may order specific testing or changes in your lupus management—so it’s important that you provide as much information as you can. 

Be candid. Be sure to share symptoms or concerns openly, even those that involve intimacy, pregnancy, or other sensitive topics. Your doctor needs a complete picture of your symptoms to determine the best course of action.
Express yourself. If you disagree with your doctor, or don’t understand his or her instructions, it’s OK to ask for clarification or express a different point of view. A healthy doctor/patient relationship should be based on an honest exchange of ideas. Ask for the rationale behind any new tests or treatments. If your doctor is recommending a change of course, it’s important that you understand why. Don’t hesitate to ask what has prompted the change, and how it will affect your lupus management.
 Share insights from your other doctors. If you have more than one doctor, it’s important for each of them to be fully aware of what the others are recommending so there are no conflicts in your lupus management.

Bring a close friend or family member to the appointment. Bring along a relative or friend to provide you with support and an extra set of ears. It may be helpful to have someone with you who can help interpret the doctor’s instructions and ask additional questions.

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