It is not every day that one visits a doctor whether due to sickness or for a general checkup. Depending on an individual, a trip to the doctor is not something to look forward to as it can either lead to confirmation of worst fears or an alleviation of raging concerns. It is always important hence to make the best out of such a visit and ensure you benefit as much as possible from your interaction with the doctor
1. Prepare a List
There are tens of issues you would wish to clarify from the doctor and it is crucial that you be prepared to do this within the slotted time. Doctor’s appointments do not take more than thirty minutes in most cases. It is hence imperative that you prepare all the concerns you have been having, from the major to the minor issues related to your health that may be bugging you. If you are seeing a general doctor, you can still present your various concerns as you can be sure you will be referred to the right specialists.
2. Carry previous records
If you are going to see the doctor for the first time it is important that you carry your medical records arising from previous appointments with other doctors. This way the doctor will be able to understand your history in a short time rather than getting it verbally from you. If you have a record of previous medication or prescription you can carry them along and present this information to the doctor. If you have any allergies this is the most appropriate time to tell your doctor so that he notes it somewhere before writing out a prescription.
3. Appointment scheduling
Depending on how you feel and you complications, it is crucial to book an appointment that will be sufficient in terms of time. To start with it is often considered rude to walk into the doctor’s office without an appointment unless it is an emergency. It is always important to call in advance and book for the most appropriate time. An impromptu appointment might be hurriedly slotted failing to give you the adequate time you require. Booking in advance also ensures that all your records have been retrieved and handed over to your doctor to go through before you walk in.
4. Stick to relevant details
There is always the temptation to wander off the pertinent medical topic especially in appointments with familiar doctors. While this may be important to ease any tension, it can be time consuming leaving little or no time for your medical concerns to be evaluated. Unless some personal details are relevant to the appointment, it is always advisable to avoid them.
5. Be inquisitive
It is crucial to remember that the trip to a doctor is not an everyday affair and hence you should ask all the pertinent questions you may be having. It is not unusual for a doctor to order tests or prescribe medicines that you are unfamiliar with and hence it is crucial that you probe further to understand the importance of the tests or the drugs and also their relevance. The doctor may be an expert in medical issues but it is your body at stake. This should be made in a professional manner without any hint of condescension. It is for instance important to inquire about the side effects to certain prescriptions so that you know what you are getting yourself into. You can also ask for alternatives should you feel that the side effects are unbearable or the cost of the prescription is too high. It is also crucial that you be provided with adequate explanations on anything that you do not understand such as the signs on prescriptions. It should be cleared to you when to take the prescription, how long to take it, after or before meals, how many times and how. These questions are important as they will impact on the efficacy of the medication.
6. Be honest and cooperative
To reach the correct diagnosis doctors require as much assistance as possible from you in terms of information. It is imperative that you give truthful account of all that you are being asked by the doctor to avoid misdiagnosis. No matter how embarrassing some information will be, as long as it is pertinent to the issue at hand it is important that you be honest. There are risks involved when the correct information is not given or is withheld as you might be prescribed the wrong drugs leading to huge complications afterwards.
7. Be courteous
Courtesy pays and nowhere does this happen more than in a doctor’s office. Although doctors are professionals, they are human too and prone to hurt like the rest of the humanity. If you are courteous and professional you are bound to meet your equal as courtesy begets courtesy. Treat all the staff within that office with dignity and courtesy and they will in turn assist you with all that you need. You may be grumpy and tired but it is to your benefit if you can be patient and well mannered.
8. Lab and x-ray reports
Ensure you take back to the doctor the results to any lab tests ordered or x-ray reports. These are crucial diagnostic tools that will aid the doctor greatly when carrying out an assessment. If you fail to take back the results your diagnosis will be incomplete and you may be treated for the wrong ailments. These tests are also important as they form a crucial part of you treatment history and will be relied on in future.
9. Follow up appointments
Due to the busy schedule in the doctor’s office, you may not get a follow up call and it is only important that you do so yourself. Always mark the days of the following appointment or review clearly in your calendar together with the scheduled time. There is a huge possibility that the doctor’s office will not call you but they will be expecting you. You can also make a call in advance to ensure your slot is available to avoid disappointments.