By Gabe Sanders PhD, NSCA-CSCS
A critical often overlooked aspect to receiving the correct medical care is for patients to effectively communicate with their healthcare providers. The patient-physician line of communication is equally important from both parties, although there are typically barriers between the two parties.
The line of communication is even further discordant when African Americans patients have non-African American physicians. While it is imperative for physicians to make their patients feel comfortable and accepted, we the patients must ensure we provide our physicians with all information that may assist our doctor in making the correct diagnosis or treatment plan.
African Americans, Communication and Clinical Trials
Another essential factor to enhance medical care for all is to engage in clinical trials if you are a candidate for such treatment. For clinical trials to be most effective, it is important to know that a diverse pool of people can improve the results of clinical trials because different people respond differently to treatment.
A common problem is that African Americans are often under-studied due to low enrollment numbers (for various reasons) in clinical trials. The reasons for under-enrollment is multi-faceted; however, researchers have been attempting to pinpoint the behavioral and psychological factors that play a major role towards improving African American enrollment in, for instance, cancer clinical trials.
Research suggests patient-physician communication is a critical factor and can be enhanced once patient attitudes and belief barriers are addressed and clarified by both the physician and patient.
The more information your doctor has the better
When seeking medical care from a doctor, whether is it for cancer treatment, the flu, or a common cold, be sure to verbally communicate as much information to your physician as possible. The more information your doctor has, the better he or she can help you.
Opening up the line of communication with your doctor can make all the difference in your diagnosis and treatment. Be sure to ask questions, explain your symptoms in detail, express your feelings about your diagnosis and treatment, and then be open to different treatment types and clinical trials if needed.
Remember your doctor is supposed to help you and other people in the process.
Get $35 off Lean & Clean meals from Sun Basket!
Sun Basket is a healthy meal delivery service offering organic and sustainable ingredients and easy recipes delivered to your door weekly.
Go to our Resources page- For the most recommended tools, you need to succeed on your healthy living journey!!
Eggly, Susan, et al. “Partnering around cancer clinical trials (PACCT): study protocol for a randomized trial of a patient and physician communication intervention to increase minority accrual to prostate cancer clinical trials.” BMC cancer 17.1 (2017): 807.