Uncovering the Patient’s Understanding of His or Her Meds

Mar 06, 2017

“I discovered the secret of the sea in meditation upon a dewdrop.”

Kahlil Gibran

Uncovering the Patient’s Understanding of His or Her Meds

TISA Description of the Problem: Taking medications is a complicated process. In order to be a valuable source of information and a medication ally with our patients, it is critical to understand how they are taking their meds and how they view them. The following tips by Harold Meyerowitz, M. D. provide some insight into ways of beginning this process.

Tip: When first beginning to work with a patient, I find that the following questions are useful in helping me to better understand the patient’s views of his or her meds:

1)What meds are you currently taking?,

2) What is your understanding of the purpose of each med?

3) Do they seem to help?

TISA Follow-up: In reviewing the excellent questions suggested by Dr. Meyerowitz, a fourth question comes to mind that is a natural follow-up to his three inquiries: Do you like this med? On a different yet related topic – the patient’s understanding of his or her diagnosis – similar questions are useful: What have doctors told you is your diagnosis? What does that diagnosis mean to you? Do you agree with it?

Tip provided by:

Harold Meyerowitz, M.D.
Chandler, Arizona