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Communicating with Doctors video resources

The following summary sheets are easy-reference support materials for our Communicating with Doctors video series. You can download these sheets and refer to them when preparing for appointments with your doctors or health professionals.

Video 1 resources: Advocate for yourself

  • Patient/Carer self-advocacy measuring tool
    Self-advocacy is about taking an active role in your healthcare and being confident to put forward your own needs, concerns and preferences.  Have you ever wondered how well are you able to advocate for yourself? Do you know how to start a conversation with a doctor?  Take this 2 minute questionnaire and find out how well you advocate for yourself.

  • Summary sheet 
    Self-advocacy is about taking an active role in your healthcare and being confident to put forward your own needs, concerns and preferences. It’s about understanding your rights and being open to learning from and sharing with your healthcare team. Read key tips on how to learn to advocate for yourself when talking to doctors.   

  • Advocate for yourself video 

Video 2 resources: Active participation

  • Summary sheet 
    Active participation is engaging with your healthcare team during your appointments by asking questions and getting involved in discussions about your care.  Read our tips on how to actively participate in discussions about your health care and ensure your concerns are discussed.

  • Active participation video

Video 3 resources: Communicating emotions

  • Summary sheet 
    A cancer diagnosis can bring on a lot of emotions. These reactions are natural. Sharing your feelings may help you to understand what is going on for you and to feel more in control. Sharing feelings also lets your doctor consider your emotional needs when planning your treatment with you. In this summary sheet you will find tips on how to talk to your doctors when you don’t feel they are listening to you and learn to feel comfortable sharing your emotions with your doctor.

  • Communicating emotions video

Video 4 resources: Partnering with your doctors

  • Summary sheet 
    Patients and their carers are encouraged to work together with their doctors, to build a partnership in finding the best treatment path. The partnership process helps you to feel more in control of your situation. In this summary sheet we outline strategies to improve communication and create strong partnerships with your doctors.

  • Paternering with your doctors video 



Learning about your or your loved one’s cancer, treatment options, possible side effects and available support services can help you better advocate for yourself. Your acquiring of new knowledge and becoming more interested in your illness may help you better cope with your illness. It also allows you to actively participate during doctor appointments and confidently make decisions that are right for you.

Patients who actively engage during their appointments and ask questions feel more in control. They are also more likely to receive care that suits their values and preferences. It is your right to ask questions and be involved in open and honest communication.

By participating in the decision-making process, patients have better control over their health. Doctors need patients and families to share what matters to them, and patients need doctors to help them compare treatment options and evaluate their effectiveness based on the patients’ values and goals.  

Telling your doctor how you are feeling helps you feel in control. Sharing how you feel also help your doctor consider your emotional needs when planning your treatment with you. Telling them your worries and fears or as carer, worries that your loved ones have, help them know you as a person, and they will be in a better place to support you.

Your healthcare rights are set out in the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights and providers must respect them. By asserting your rights, you ensure that you receive safe, high-quality care.

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