The SMART Patient

Care from your providers is only as good as your ability to communicate with them. Health experts have found that well informed patients are more inquisitive and are more likely to communicate. The best patient-doctor relationships are partnerships, so don’t take a back seat when it comes to your health care.


  • Find a doctor you feel comfortable with. He or she can help you make medical decisions, so it’s important to find one who you can talk to and suits your values.
  • Bring a complete list of your medications, including complementary and alternative medications. Take along a family member or friend to help you remember anything your doctor tells you that you may forget later.
  • Prepare in advance by writing down your symptoms, questions or concerns. During your visit, make sure you understand everything your doctor tells you before walking out the door, such as the purpose of any medical tests you are getting, the diagnosis, and all treatment options.
  • Ask questions if anything is unclear to you. Everyone has a chance to make his or her healthcare more effective. Cultivating a strong, healthy partnership with your provider can ensure safety, prevent errors and maintain the overall health for you and your family.

"Common sense is not so common."   Voltaire