Sexually transmitted disease, or STD, can be tough to talk about with a doctor. Not only are topics on sexual health and well-being sometimes a little awkward, but the communication line between patients and medical professionals can sometimes feel distant. Luckily, April marks STD Awareness Month and a focus of 2019’s efforts in treating STDs and communicating them effectively.
Doctor/Patient Communication on STDs
Doctors and other medical professionals see no need to feel uncomfortable about anything biological. That being said, a patient’s reluctance to talk about STD questions or concerns can cause possible problems down the road. Both the patient and the medical expert have a role to play in doctor/patient communication about STDs.
Treat Me Right: Helpful Tips for Patients
Treat Me Right is a 2019 STD Awareness Month campaign centered around positive and productive STD communication between doctors and patients. To achieve proper awareness and knowledge, patients can go about discussions on STDs with a doctor in a few ways. A proper way to begin a conversation about STDs is to voice a concern that may have come up recently. Even if it is just a curiosity, explaining to a medical professional what knowledge one has gone into an appointment can help tremendously.
Likewise, patients should seek out doctors that provide a safe, respectful environment. It does no good if a patient feels uncomfortable around a doctor they’re meant to trust. Sometimes, a patient feels a certain way without any reason. For example, maybe a woman is more comfortable talking to a female doctor about sexual wellness. Whatever helps the patient become more informed ought to take priority. Of course, the medical professionals can also benefit from a more productive communication channel with patients when it comes to STDs.
Treat Me Right: Helpful Tips for Medical Professionals
As a medical professional, the education of a patient is of the utmost importance. That’s why making sure to ask patients about safe sex practices. A typical question during a routine physical is to ask if the patient is sexually active. An easy follow-up question could be to inquire about safe sex or any concern for STD. Sometimes, breaking the ice helps to make sure the patient feels comfortable discussing a sensitive subject.
Conversations about STDs Make a Difference
Medical professionals and patients both benefit from constructive conversation outlets regarding STD prevention and treatment. It makes a difference in the lives of all involved.