Health Communication

Meagan Cohen
Comm.308, Weds 7:20pm
Reflection Journal #2

The Communication Makes All The Difference

A few months ago I made the decision to stop seeing my pediatrician and move onto a physician. I made an appointment with the doctor who cares for both of my parents. After waiting in a patient care room for a short period of time Dr. Shaw came in to greet me. She was courteous and smiling while telling me how happy she is that I chose to come see the same physician as my parents. She asked me about school and work and seemed generally interested. It felt more like a conversation than a verbal questionnaire, which is how I always felt about seeing a doctor I wasn’t accustomed to. She asked me about my sex life and drug and alcohol use, and didn’t show any form of judgment based on my response. I expressed certain medical problems I was experiencing and she listed a number of treatment options that might help. She expressed which choice she felt would be best for me but told me there was some flexibility in choosing and that I should be able to decide myself. This to me was new. I had never before experience choice of that nature in relation to my health. Usually a doctor would just tell me what to do without ever informing me of alternate treatment options or allowing me to decide which option to treat with. This appointment was one of the most positive experiences I have ever had with a doctor, to this day.
The transactional communication that occurred between Dr. Shaw and myself can best be described as both of our roles being of an equal nature. Although she was the one I sought advice from, her advice was neither an order nor a demand, but merely a suggestion. This bettered the visit in that I didn’t feel trapped by her decision or like I had no control over decisions about my health. Our conversation wasn’t physician centered, in that Dr. Shaw, did not do a majority of the talking, we both spoke equally and on the same level. Neither one of use was...