By Trisha McBride Ferguson
Good doctor-patient relationships are important at every stage in life and help ensure the best health outcomes. For women, building a solid connection with their obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) is essential.
Whether you’re visiting for birth control, family planning or a regular screening, these suggestions from Alisa Katherine Eanes, MD, an OB/GYN at Mission Women’s Care – McDowell, can help you get the most out of your next OB/GYN visit:
1. Find the right fit. If you’re just getting started or looking to switch providers, now is the time to find your best match. “Getting a recommendation from a friend or family member about an OB/GYN who they are comfortable with is a great way to start,” said Dr. Eanes. “But sometimes, for whatever reason, you may have to meet with someone you don’t know anything about and that’s okay too. Your OB/GYN should make you feel at ease during your firstmeeting — if they don’t, then consider switching to a different provider.”
2. Be direct. As a specialist, your doctor has heard it all. “I often tell my patients that the topics that make most folks nervous or embarrassed are my favorite topics to talk about,” said Dr. Eanes. “Don’t be shy asking about discharge, vaginal dryness, sex, bumps, periods or leakage of urine — we studied these topics and chose this job because we love to talk about these things. Our goal is to help educate our patients and make them feel more comfortable about them too.”
3. Be honest. While female health issues can be sensitive, it’s critical to be completely honest. “It is hard to get the healthcare you need if you can’t speak openly with your provider,” said Dr. Eanes. “When you find a provider you connect well with, they can be an advocate for you for all stages of your life!”
4. Get comfortable. You can feel confident that your provider will never disclose anything about your health or visit without your permission, said Dr. Eanes. “Our favorite part of the job is connecting with patients. It is why we chose our job. If there is anything we can do to help you feel more at ease, please tell us, and we will do our best to accommodate any special requests,” she said.
Alisa Katherine Eanes, MD, is an OB/GYN at Mission Women’s Care – McDowell.