By Hans Russell, MD

SMGOR Family Medicine

We all attempt to craft one every year – that dreaded New Year’s resolutions list! Everyone’s list looks a little different, but as a physician, there is one thing I feel should be included on every list, and that is to improve communication with your health care provider. A great way to be an advocate for your health is to make sure that your physician or physicians are on the same page as you as far as medical issues are concerned.

Here are a few recommendations I’d like to suggest you consider when you meet with your provider:

  • Carefully review your medical chart with your physician.  That includes a careful review of the medical problems list, medications, and past medical history. All require yearly review and updating.
  • If anything feels confusing to you, don’t be afraid to ask specific questions. Your provider should listen to your question(s) to be sure you clearly understand what’s being addressed. As a patient, you should never feel intimated or the least bit afraid to advocate on behalf of your needs.
  • Create calendar reminders for annual and needed to follow up appointments.

Being proactive and active about your health is of the utmost importance and will ensure more positive outcomes in the new year and beyond!


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