Make the most of your doctor visits

Make the most of your doctor visits

Fifteen minutes. In most cases that’s all the time that you have to talk to your doctor during your appointment.
The first step is to be prepared.

Before you visit your doctor, make a list of all your health concerns. What is bothering you? What are the specific symptoms? What is occurring? How are you feeling? Do you have pain? What is the pain like? Sharp, dull, achy? When do the symptoms appear? When do they go away?

Choose your top three health concerns and plan your questions. If you have more than three concerns, make sure that you let your health care provider know and schedule another appointment if necessary.

You will also want to bring all your medications and supplements or list them so your doctor knows what you are currently taking. You will also need to bring the results of any tests you have had. If you see more than one health care provider or specialist, make a list of your contact information and bring that along as well.

You may want to bring someone with you to take notes or to help you remember the things that were discussed at your appointment.

Be honest about changes in your health history or lifestyle – even if it is embarrassing. Your provider needs specific health information in order to make the most accurate diagnosis, order tests or schedule you for another appointment.
Remember, stay focused and be specific. Ask your questions at the beginning of the appointment so there is time to get the answers that you need.

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