Q: Do you have any advice on how I should bring up sensitive issues with my doctor?
A: Think ahead of the appointment how you might tell your doctor about the problem. Write down your symptoms, when they started and when they typically occur, what makes them better and worse, and any concerns or questions. Once you’re at the doctor’s office, it may be easier to broach a sensitive subject by confronting it head on, saying something like “This has always been taboo in our family, so it’s hard for me to ask.”
Your doctor may have to carry out a physical examination and/or ask personal questions to find out more about the problem. The information you provide is key to an accurate diagnosis and a treatment regimen that suits you, so be sure to answer any questions honestly. Above all, remember that your doctor is there to help you, not to judge you.
— Dr. Audrey Chun, Sharecare.com expert, Gerontologist and Director, Martha Stewart Center for Living, The Mount Sinai Medical Center
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