Have you ever left your doctor’s office leaving frustrated? Felt like you didn’t get your point across or felt that you were misunderstood. It is in the interest of both doctors and patients that the time in an appointment is used well.
- Prepare for the visit: think about what you would like to get out of the appointment (but be flexible)
- Share your symptoms – don’t keep them yourself (we talked about the ‘door handle’ sign) and try as be as open as you can; a list or a diary can be really helpful
- Consider bringing someone with you – either a family member or trusted friend (but choose your supporter with care!)
- Take your medications with you to your visit, or get a list from your drug store
- Summarise the plan / recap at the end of the visit if your doctor doesn’t go this anyway
- If you know you’ll need follow up, book your next appointment before you leave the office (this includes for routine matters like medication refills)
Following these tips will help you to make the most out of your next visit and ensure that you and your doctor make the best use of the time.
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(Title photo from National Cancer Institute)