Medical: Tips for Visiting a Doctor
Make the most of your appointment
- Arrive on time. If you arrive late, it could reduce the amount of face time you get with your doctor, making you feel rushed and cutting down on the time you have to discuss your concerns.
- Write down any questions or concerns you have before the appointment, and bring your list with you. Check it with your physician and make sure you don’t forget something.
- Don’t be shy or feel embarrassed when discussing sensitive topics. Probably, your doctor has seen the problem before and is there to help you, not to judge.
- Ask everything. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about particular treatments you may have read about or heard about; but be prepared to listen to what the doctor has to say – whether good or bad. Doctors appreciate an informed patient, but if you come in and try to diagnose yourself or tell them how to treat your condition it can be frustrating for both of you. Ask open-ended questions such as “What can you tell me about this treatment?”
- When you are listing your symptoms, be as specific as possible. Note the duration, frequency, timing, severity, and whether there seem to be any associated triggers or patterns.
- Be honest. Your doctor can only help you if he or she has an accurate understanding of what is going on. So from questions about your symptoms to your lifestyle to other medications you may be using, make sure to answer your doctor’s queries as accurately and honestly as you can.
- Make sure you understand what your doctor says. You should leave your doctor’s office with a clear understanding of your condition, your treatment, and any follow-up appointments, tests, or other care you may require. If you don’t understand something ask your doctor again, or ask him to write it down, even to make a drawing, whatever you need.