"Doctors are consultants, not your boss," says Teitelbaum. But speaking up to doctors can be difficult to do, even for patients who are expert communicators in their professions. Education level is no hedge against intimidation and embarrassment, says Dr. Robert Mordkin, chief of urology at Virginia Hospital Center near Washington, D.C. "Some guys come in, and they're so ashamed to say the word "testicle." You need to set that aside so you can advocate for your own health." He suggests writing down your questions ahead of time so you can focus better on what you need to say and what the doctor is telling you.