1) Do NOT talk down to me. If I need a definition or clarification, I will ask. I am a layperson, not an idiot.
2) Yes, I'm fat. Morbidly obese is the medical term. I know this, you do NOT need to bring it up. When I've given up on doing something about it, I'll ask for drugs or surgery. Until then, leave it alone. Do NOT assume that every health problem I have is due to my weight -- you'll be wrong far more often than right. Conversely, do not discount my concerns because of my weight.
3) When I come in, which is seldom, I have a pretty good idea what is wrong and I've taken the relevant OTC meds and likely several herbal or alternative treatments. You don't need to tell me to take two aspirin and call back in a week -- unless it's a broken bone or large gash I've BEEN sick for a week or more. And if it's a broken bone or a cut in need of stitches, chances are good I've gone to the ER or Urgent Care and had it taken care of already.
4) I am, in general, an informed consumer/patient. I am also NOT very patient. If I tell you I've tried something, don't ask me thirty seconds later if I've tried it, or tell me to try it. I'll realize you aren't paying attention, and IT IS YOUR JOB to pay attention.
5) If you order tests, be prepared to explain why you believe they are necessary. If I don't agree, I will refuse said tests, especially if they are invasive.
6) I'm brutally honest when you ask if I've done this or that, both because I know that if you ask, you have a reason and because I know you won't tell anyone without either a court order or my permission. You're more likely to get a court order.
7) I have a living will and a health care directive. Don't pull punches, and I don't scare easily. I'm on the list as "take anything useable and give the rest to science."
8) I will follow your suggestions to the best of my ability if I agree with your reasoning.
9) If I am (myfirstname), you are (yourfirstname). If you are Dr. Whatever, I am Mrs. (lastname).
If you cannot show me the SAME respect you feel that you deserve, or if you cannot abide by the points outlined here, feel free to fire me. No sense both of us wasting our time.
I send a copy by mail when I make my first appointment with a note requesting that the DR read it and place it in my chart. Then I hand-carry a copy and hand it to the nurse when I'm called back. THEN I have a copy in my hand when the Doc walks in.
I've had the same Doctor for over 12 years now. Well, more or less -- haven't been to see him in over 2 years, 'cause I don't see the need to waste time and money exposing myself to other peoples' germs while I'm healthy!
And yes, I fired a doctor before -- we're in his office after my exam to get BCP and he starts on me about my weight, AS HE LIGHTS UP A CIGARETTE in his OFFICE. Plus he had the classic "drunkard's nose." I told him when he quit smoking, lost 25 pounds, and got sober he could criticize my weight. He objected to my observations and I walked out. With my 'scrip. I told the payment clerk I was NOT paying and why, and if there was any difficulty I'd be glad to explain to the director. I never got a bill and when I made another appointment at that office, I got a different doctor without having to ask. After that was when I wrote up that letter -- it's gone through several revisions!