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You injured yourself at work badly enough to need medical attention. Your employer sent you to a North Carolina physician, but you worry that she is not listening to your concerns and that she may harbor a bias. What do you do?

No matter if the physician is your regular doctor or one your employer assigned, you deserve to feel heard. Learn how to improve the lines of communication and so improve your chances of making a full recovery.

Ask open-ended questions

Rather than questions that require a simple “yes” or “no” response, ask open-ended questions instead that express what you feel. For instance, you can ask, “I have been asking you about X, but feel that you dodge the question. Why is that?” Or you can ask, “Do you mind going into more detail about X?” Do not hesitate to plainly state that you do not feel your doctor is not listening to you or adequately addressing your concerns. Remember, your health is on the line.

Bring notes with you

One way to improve communication is to make sure to come to your appointments prepared. In the time leading up to your meeting with your doctor, make note of any questions or concerns that come to mind in your day-to-day life. You may also want to write down a narrative of how your work injury occurred and the resulting symptoms or pain you experience and when you experience them.

Have a friend or family member join you

For your next appointment, think about asking a family member or friend to join you. That way, you have another person in your corner who can ask questions or make observations that you may miss. It can also help to bring along someone more assertive than you.

You deserve proper treatment and respect when you step into the doctor’s office. It is how you can make a full recovery and get back to work.