As we move further into a new year, we begin to see time fly by. We rush around to children’s sports practices, work appointments and family gatherings. So, in a world that never stops moving, how do we stop and ensure we are getting the most from our doctor appointments?
As patients, we can each do a few things to get ensure a successful visit to the doctor’s office, but it never seems to be enough.
Dr. Tom Langston offered a few suggestions on how to get the most from your medical appointment:
Make a list. Walk into the doctor’s office prepared. Bring a list of your current medications, symptoms and questions you want answered. Start with the most important issues first and then work your way down the list. You will want to share these questions and concerns at the beginning of your appointment, which will allow your physician to navigate through your questions throughout the appointment.
If your physician gives you any new instructions regarding changes in medicine or routine, be sure to write the information down. Looking back at your notes to ensure accuracy will benefit your health. Also, write down any instructions your physician gives you about what you are supposed to do between visits- x-rays, lab test, physical therapy, etc.
Understand what the doctor is saying. We all know what it is like to sit in the doctor’s office confused as can be. When we listen to our doctor speak, we may not understand exactly what they are trying to convey. Do not be afraid to ask your doctor to rephrase what they mean. Ask plenty of questions. Once you think you know what the doctor is trying to convey, repeat it back to ensure accuracy. Be sure to take notes so you don’t forget what was said and talked about.
Be honest. Do not be afraid to tell your doctor what is going on. No matter how uncomfortable the subject may be, it is important to tell the entire truth when discussing health conditions. If details are left out, the diagnosis may not be best for you, sometimes leading to unpleasant events, such as a medication reaction. Your doctor can best serve you when he/she knows the entire story.
In a world that never stops spinning, it is important to take the time to address your health. Getting the most out of your doctor’s appointments can be the difference between feeling hopeless and feeling hopeful. No matter if the appointment is for you, your child or a loved one you care for, ensuring that the appointment is successful in all aspects is especially important.