Have you ever walked out of a doctor’s office and forgot to ask a question about a symptom you’ve been having, or brought home a new medication and couldn’t remember if you were supposed to take it with a meal?
A little preparation before your next visit can help you ensure you’re getting the most out of your doctor visits, and ensure you’re being an active participant in your health – saving you time, money and worry. You can get more from your doctor visits by following these tips:
Before you go…
- Choose the right doctor. Check if your provider is in your health plan’s network, how long it takes to get an appointment, and if they’re available for medical issues after hours.
- Create a list of questions you want answered. Prioritize the list to ensure you ask the most important questions first.
- Bring a record of your prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and supplements you take regularly, as well as the names and contact information of other doctors you see.
- Take along a personal health record and other pertinent information to share.
- Ask someone to go with you to take notes or to be a second set of ears.
While at the visit…
- Arrive on time. Your appointment allots you a specific amount of time with the doctor.
- Be open and honest. Sometimes it can feel awkward to discuss certain things with your doctor. Being truthful and forthcoming can help your doctor better assess your needs.
- Share your history. Your personal and family health history may offer the doctor insight into how to manage your care.
- Get the details about tests, procedures and treatments. Ask about side effects and when to expect test results.
- Listen actively to your doctor to demonstrate that you are a partner in your care.