Actively participating in your health care can help your doctor provide the finest care. Prepare ahead of time and prepare an agenda for your doctor’s appointment to maximize your experience. Your doctor and you will both benefit from your appointment if you take the time to prepare for it in advance. Here are some things to keep in mind before, during, and after your doctor’s appointment. Together with your doctor, these tips can enhance your health.
Leading the way to better health
You usually have 15 minutes with your doctor. Prepare for your visit to maximize your time with your doctor. Take some time to consider your worries and inquiries. Prior to your visit, write these down. Have a list ready for your visit. Having a list can help you remember everything to tell your doctor. Before visiting, consider these:
- Make a list of everything you want to ask or discuss with your doctor. Note these. Starting with your priorities and ending with your least priorities. Bring the list with you when you visit. If necessary, reorganize your list with your doctor.
- Make sure your new doctor has as much information as possible about your health history. Unless you’re a new patient, bring only new or altered information from your last doctor’s appointment.
- Make a note of your medical background. Create a paper or digital “health journal” for yourself. You can record health issues, blood pressure, symptoms, food, and sleep in your health notebook. Bring your journal or health history to appointments.
- Grab your X-rays, test reports, and medical records. These can help your doctor understand your health history.
- List your medicines, including when and how often you take them. Include the medication strength (150 mg or 200 mg?). Include your vitamins and supplements in the list.
- If you want someone to accompany you to your appointment so you can take notes, ask questions, and listen, ask around among your family members.
- Please notify your doctor’s office at least one day in advance of your visit if you will require an interpreter.
Please bring your lists to your visit. Feel free to use the Patient Checklist to get yourself ready for your doctor’s appointment.
Discuss with your doctor
To make the most of your appointment with your doctor, remember to follow these steps when you speak with them.
Review your lists
Despite how uncomfortable it may be, bring up any awkward or frightening topics at the beginning of your appointment. Allow your doctor time to address them. Your doctor is there to help, not judge. Tell the truth.
Talk to your doctor about your past and present health conditions. No matter how embarrassing it is, share whatever you can. Tell your doctor the following during the exam:
- Personal data, like stress or life changes
- Your medications, including supplements
- Your medication has side effects. If your medication makes you unwell or you suspect an allergy, inform your doctor. Inform them if you have problems paying for medicine.
Be vocal during your appointment. You should tell your doctor if you don’t understand. Your doctor will assume you understand if you don’t ask. Tips for asking your doctor:
- Ask whenever you don’t understand.
- If you don’t comprehend what your doctor is saying, ask for photos or booklets.
Start your doctor conversation with these questions:
- What do my symptoms mean?
- Do I need medical testing?
- What caused it?
- What is the severity of the condition?
- How does it get treated?
- Does the treatment have side effects?
- How long will it take to be treated?
- Will this condition effect my life now and later?
Create a strategy to ensure that all of your queries are addressed, even if time is of the essence.
Tell your doctor if you need extra time to discuss. When the doctor is unavailable, you can talk to an assistant or nurse. If no one else is available, make another appointment to finish your inquiries.
Retain all of the data
Bringing written or recorded knowledge home can prove useful. It can recall facts and instructions as needed. Your doctor provides reliable information. You can take home the following information:
Notes from the appointment
There is no problem taking notes when your doctor talks to you. Bringing a friend or family member can help. They can record doctor or nurse answers and other information. You can also request doctor notes.
Your physician should provide you with written instructions. After your appointment, you should receive these.
An audio recording
You can help yourself remember by recording the appointment if your doctor allows it.
If you can’t find any, inquire as to where you might be able to obtain some.
Things to consider
Be sure to follow your doctor’s directions. Medication, test prep, and expert appointments are examples. Consult your doctor if you’re confused or forget something. The following are common reasons to phone or email your doctor after your appointment:
- If any inquiries arise following the consultation, message the doctor or nurse.
- If you get sick or have medication issues,
- If your test results are missing.