No doubt if you asked doctors this question, many of them would say that one of the most important things to do at your next doctor’s visit is be on time.
This is especially true with early morning appointments. Of course, things can happen to delay your arrival, but patients who come late can often affect the day’s entire schedule.
Let’s assume that you are on time and ready to meet the doctor. What are some other helpful prerequisites for your next doctor’s visit?
Whether you are seeing a doctor for the first time, or you are an established patient, come prepared and be familiar with why you are there. Is it a follow up exam, is it a annual wellness exam, or are you having new symptoms and need a diagnosis?
Don’t assume you will remember everything you want to communicate to the doctor.
Write down any new or changes to pains or symptoms, and include any concerns and questions.
When the doctor asks, “Why are you here today?” you should have a precise answer.
Bring a written list of your medications. If you see several types of doctors, this particular doctor may not be familiar with all your meds or something newly prescribed.
Always have your insurance card(s) readily available.
Bring Another Set Of Ears
It is always best to have a trusted relative or friend with you. If the topic is serious or confusing, they may hear something you did not. Bring a notebook to write down what important issues the doctor covered, any change to medications, and the treatment plan moving forward.
Share And Don’t Be Embarrassed
It’s important for your doctor to know of any changes in your life, especially major life events. If you have recently lost a loved one, it can affect your overall health and well being in various ways.
Increased stress levels can affect your weight, appetite, sleep patterns and energy, so it is essential to share any changes since your last visit.
Your doctor has heard everything so don’t let embarrassment keep you from sharing key changes in your life and getting the help you need.
Let the Office Know If You Are Running Late
It can happen to the best of us, but a call to the office may help to alleviate some of the scheduling issues.
Ask questions and get clarifications about any topic you don’t quite understand. If necessary, ask the physician to repeat what they said, or to reword it for you in a more patient friendly way.
Help to make your next appointment efficient for both you and Dr. Sargeant.