Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Doctor

Before visiting your doctor, it is essential to plan accordingly.  As a result, you and your physician will cover important aspects of why you are there and the visit will prove to be both productive and efficient.  Since the subject of health is the reason you would visit the doctor, then ask yourself this question: Why would you be any less prepared for a visit to the doctor?  Thus, here are some tips to help you make the most out of your doctor visits:

  1. Elaborate more in your visits.

– Usually, we go to the doctor because of a chief complaint (Ex: “It hurts here” or “I have a cough”).  But overtime, we develop specific symptoms that are indicative of complex functional problems that we are having such as muscle or joint problems or issues like memory loss.  Let your doctor know what problems you’re experiencing.

2.  Look back at your history.

– Baby boomers certainly have a long history of medical issues.  Therefore, understanding your history is the key to making an accurate diagnosis of what’s troubling you.  Before the visit, think about a scenario like this: For example, If you have pain, when did it start? Or, What makes it worse?  Provide as much accurate detail of what is troubling you.

3.  Prioritize your complaints.

– Come up with a list of the top 3 problems or less you are having.  This way, your precious time at the doctor would effectively manage your issues and resolve them in an accurate and right way.  Having a list of many things to say results in better treatments.

4.  List all “internal events”.

– Basically, know all the major things that have happened to you since you last saw your doctor.  Examples: (hospitalizations, surgeries, ER trip, change in medications,etc).  Indeed, our medical and social histories are linked together which influences our health and well-being.

5.  Bring a list of your medications.

– This list should be up-to-date and complete, including dosages and frequencies.  It is crucial for your doctor to know the types of medications you’re taking as it would relate to current conditions needed for your treatment.  For seniors, having a list is especially important to avoid medication problems constituted from a doctor visit.

6.  Ask for a follow-up-plan.

– Go over with your doctor what’s going to happen, and when, once you walk out the door.  For instance, ask a question like this, “So I’m going to get an MRI of my head for these headaches.  Will you be calling me with the results even if they’re normal, or should I call you?”  Having a plan going forward avoids miscommunication and trouble down the road.

7.  Ask your doctor for clarification.

– Sometimes, doctors will explain medical jargon or words you would not understand.  Just remind him or her to explain in simple terms what he or she is trying to tell you.  In turn, both you and your doctor will be happy about your visit.

Credit source: Grandparents.com (‘7 Ways to Get the Most From Your Doctor’).

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