Optimise your next doctor visit
The physician-patient relationship is a vital one. Patients often wait months for their clinic visit and physician has a limited amount of time allocated for each visit. So it is important to come prepared and make the best use of the time.
Visiting the doctor doesn't have to be an unpleasant experience. Some thoughtful preparation will go a long way toward making your experience less stressful and more productive. Preparing for a doctor's visit is a vital step in partnering with your health care provider and becoming an active participant in your own health care, and a good provider will welcome your active participation.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to make your visit less stressful and more productive.
Before work meetings, we research, make notes and prepare ourselves. A meeting with your physician should be no different. Advance preparation will save valuable time. The information you should bring to every doctor's appointment includes:
A list of all your symptoms, including vital information like their intensity, when they started and how they have evolved
An up to date list of all the medications and supplements you take and their respective dosages
All lab and test results, x-rays and other medical related documentation you have and make sure you have copies of everything.
Don't come alone
Appointments with physicians tend to go by at a whirlwind pace. At the end of the meeting, you are left with a substantial amount of information, recommendations and advice, which can be overwhelming. It is highly recommend bringing a family member or friend along with you. During the appointment your companion will be able to take notes, ask questions and follow the conversation, helping to ensure you don't miss out on anything.
Use the time together wisely
The clinic time is packed with everything that needs to get done. You do not want to miss out on things that are important to you, so patients should make a prioritized list of questions and topics they want to discuss.
Your physician needs you to be completely honest. They need to know if you forget to take your medications, if you don't follow your diet and why. Even if you think the physician will be disappointed with you, the information is still vital in order to allow them to care for your health.
Don't just share your chief complaint, share your chief concern
Your health complaints are important and it's crucial that you share them, but your emotional health is equally important. Please share your worries and concerns. So the physician takes everything into consideration when creating your care plan.
The physician job is to create and explain the recommended care plan. Your job is to make sure you understand it and are able to follow it. Keep asking questions until all the information is clear and make sure to let them know if you if can't comply. If you ever have questions, be sure to have contact information during after hours.
Track your own health
Your health and general feeling probably fluctuate and change throughout the day, the week and the month. It's important to keep an online or offline tracking of the way you feel, side effects you may have and any physical or emotional swings you may experience. Don't worry about getting blood tests or screenings before your appointment.
You should leave your provider's office feeling like your concerns were heard and acknowledged. Together, you and your provider should come up with a health care plan that feels like the right fit for your needs.