A consultation with a board-certified spine specialist should be a productive interaction where you gather information and exchange ideas. When both parties are active participants, such a meeting can be an effective two-way street that’s good for both the doctor and patient.
Avoid the temptation to sit and listen and become an active participant by asking for more details as necessary. Ask questions you prepared in advance before your meeting and any questions that may come to mind in response to what’s being said during the consultation itself.
Use the meeting as an opportunity to go beyond what’s in your medical chart. Discuss your symptoms in detail, talk about what seems to trigger your pain, mention over-the-counter medications you may be taking that you didn’t disclose before, and talk about other remedies you’ve tried and family history that may be relevant to your condition.
You’re likely to have another meeting after x-rays, blood tests, and other diagnostic results come back. This is a time when you’ll be able to discuss your options and maybe even suggest a few possibilities, such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and herbal medications, that are sometimes overlooked.
Your doctor’s not going to know you want to be ready for baseball season or able to dance at your daughter’s wedding without back pain unless you bring it up. Establishing your goals and priorities can ensure both of you are on the same page.
You don’t have to automatically agree with any recommendations made by your spine surgeon in Los Angeles; and they shouldn’t expect you to just go along with what they say without encouraging input. By making your consultation an interactive one, decisions about your condition will be mutual.
Ask questions that matter most to you during a consultation and listen to what’s being said. Talk about what’s important to you and what results you realistically expect from the suggested treatment options. Whether deciding to seek another opinion or not, you ultimately want to make confident, well-informed decisions about your care.
Whether you are looking for a professional, experienced spine surgeon, seeking a second opinion, or simply have a few questions about treatments like minimally invasive spine surgeries, we are happy to help. Call The Spine Institute at (310) 828-7757 and one of our dedicated spine specialists can assist you with your individual needs.