Are you getting the most from your doctor’s visit or are you struggling to make progress despite several consultations?
How do you know when it’s your stubborn condition, the medical professionals, or ourselves standing in the way of further progress?
To help us answer these questions is Dr. Patricia Pozo Rosich. As the Director of the Headache and Neurological Pain Research Group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research in Barcelona, Spain, Dr. Pozo Rosich is one of the leading migraine researchers in Europe. As an active leader in the International Headache Society, one of Dr. Pozo Rosich’s passions is to educate patients and clinicians about migraine.
What kind of information should patients provide their doctors?
Dr. Pozo Rosich: “An important aspect is something dealing with the frequency, the impact of the disability, and all of these variables are ideally properly collected in a diary.
When you think of migraine as a chronic life disorder; perhaps it looks quite obsessive to keep a diary all through your life. But, when you are preparing for a doctor’s visit, at least the first one and maybe a follow up to see how the treatment is working, and so on, it’s really useful for us. I have found from certain patients, for example, when you tell them, “Please use a diary because it would be useful for me to have a better idea of what is going on, they tell you, “No, no. I know,” for example, “I have seven days of migraine.” And, you say, “OK, fine. Just please write it down.” And, they come back with 20 days of migraine in their diary, and when you say, “Well it’s 20 and not seven.” And they say, “Oh, yes, well.” So, some people minimize the number of days and the actual impact, and others maximize it.”
Should we come alone or with someone to the first consultation?
Dr. Pozo Rosich: “Most of my patients come alone so that’s the reality… And, what ends up happening is after I do my first consultation, which is a longer type of visit, where I really explain about what is migraine and how do you have to manage it and so on, they specifically ask if they can come back on a second visit with their spouse or significant other, because they want them to hear what migraine is about.
I still remember, for example, one couple that was about to separate or divorce, but thanks to a better understanding of what the other person is going through, I think they’re still together. Maybe there were other factors involved, but the explanation of migraine helped and the told me that. So, yes, you’re absolutely right. It is better to bring someone along.”
Should we take notes during the consultation?
Dr. Pozo Rosich: “I usually write the notes, myself, for my patients. Studies have been done, and even in general medical practices and so on, that found that patients only remember 10 percent of what you actually tell them. So, usually, I tell them, “Don’t worry. Now, just listen to me and I’ll take good notes for you because I want your 100 percent concentration.” Sometimes, a problem with notes is that when you are taking notes, if you’re not trained in doing that, you may lose a part of the intended message from your physician. But I definitely think having notes is important.”
Watch the full interview to find out:
- How should patients prepare for their doctors’ appointments?
- What kind of information should patients provide their doctors?
- What should a patient expect from their doctor?
- What do doctors expect from their patients?
- What important differences exist between the initial appointment and follow-ups?
- How can patients take control of their own health in between appointments?
- Is a headache diary important?
- What’s the difference between a good doctor-patient relationship and a bad one?
- What are some signs of each?
- How can we foster a good relationship with our health care professional to get the best results?
Watch Dr. Patricia Pozo Rosich’s interview preview here or order it as part of the Migraine World Summit package from this page.
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Posted in: Migraine Education