I proudly share this article penned down by my patient Swati Iyer.
I recently consulted Dr. Nikhil Datar for my ongoing pregnancy. After a thorough examination of the files and a check-up, he recommended that get a few additional tests done immediately and I come back to him with the reports. I stay at the other end of town. Given the Mumbai traffic it is tough to travel some times. I checked if I could send him the reports via e-mail and then follow up with a visit in the following week, to which he readily agreed.
( source: Google)
I received the test results in a couple of days (there were a bunch of reports that seemed like Greek and Latin to me!) and I was unsure how could I send them to him in a way that would be easy for him to read the respond quickly. Dr Datar is a renowned and busy doctor who deals with many patients on day to day basis. Email being a non-personal communication, with no ability to get clarifications across (unlike a face-to-face meeting), I felt it was necessary for me to ensure I provide him with all the required information at hand, so that he does not have to rely on his memory to respond to my email, while also ensuring there is a right context to the reports I was sending to him.
So here’s what I used as a frame work while I wrote an email:
- Name of Patient (Obviously!)
- Date of first consultation
- Place of consultation (i.e name of the hospital/clinic)
- Purpose of consultation and the follow up actions that was recommended by the Doctor
- The test reports, along with photographs/ scans
- My questions regarding follow up actions, if any, required and/or the suggested next steps to be taken. I asked very specific questions. I did not ask non-specific question like “What should I do?”. I asked specific question such as “Should I take XYZ medicine?”
Tip: If you are attaching multiple reports or scans, it’s a good idea to label (filename) each file so that the Doctor can quickly identify the report it corresponds to.
Needless to add, my email had a prompt response and guess what, I was pleasantly surprised when he told me that this was the best email query written by a patient. He appreciated the methodical manner and further said “It made my life easy. I could correlate easily and respond immediately.” Besides that it also reduces the chances of errors too.
If you follow these simples steps it can make things easy, fast and accurate for yourself as well as your doctor!