Few people relish the experience of sitting at the doctor’s office. While it can be energizing to finally have some answers and a direction regarding your health, you probably wish it was a bit more organized. So, before getting in front of a doctor it helps to organize the details you need to in advance.
One rule that should be followed is to never mention any health condition you may have before a doctor’s appointment. If you feel that you should mention something, write it down in your health journal. Actually, you should keep a small journal on your computer that includes information about your medications, health history, diet, and any other aspects important for your health. If you over write it, your doctor may simply disregard what you have written and go on with his usual evaluation. If you allow this to be the case, you can alert the doctor to fill out a new medical record that has your correct health information.
Prior to the visit, write down all the medications you are taking, including those you are not taking because you may be unaware of the combination. This includes those supplements as well. You owe it to yourself to be honest about what you are taking, and to allow the doctor a chance to inject some specific information if necessary. But, realize that you should also know what to do and what not to do before your visit. Write down specific instructions about what you should and should not eat before your visit, and again during the visit.
In the days before your appointment, write down any questions you may have before the visit. If you are afraid of visiting a doctor, write down why you are anxious. Be specific, e.g., don’t mention “I have to do something before I go, the doctor is really irritating, what should I do?” As well, don’t leave anything to the imagination. For example, don’t mention “I think he doesn’t know about [insert your concern here], what do I do?”
Most doctors appreciate a prepared question before the visit. Practice asking and answering these questions before your appointment. If the doctor does not provide the information you need, complete the visit with a complaint.
Good doctors are aware and can discuss your problem, treatments, and diagnosis. But you, as the patient, can help the doctor be prepared before the visit. Preparing in advance will help the doctor be ready to answer your questions and even identify the problem areas. While you can’t expect the doctor to remember everything you have told him, he needs to have a working knowledge of what you like and don’t like. This will reduce the amount of information the doctor needs to retrieve from you in depth.
While it is not possible to completely prevent random visits to a doctor, the quality of care you receive can dramatically improve. Doctor visits can be a friendly, relaxing time where you can discuss your troubles and perhaps share some of your fears. However, if you use these visits to improve your health, your doctor’s visit may be one of the most important you will ever have.
If you have found your doctor to be unfriendly, you need to soften the terms of the visit. Instead of saying “I am feeling tense” or “I am feeling grumpy”, tell your doctor exactly what you are feeling. Tense is not good for the doctor and will make him work harder to help you. Grumpy is not a doctor. Tell your doctor exactly what you like or dislike, whom you see, where you were before you came in, and make certain you tell him why. Doctors cannot help if they cannot understand what is going on with you. Neither can they help if they are treating your symptoms wrong.
If you have to see the doctor, sit outside the reception area. If it is difficult to sneak in a medical history or some test results, do not bring it out in the open. Medical history and tests are a part of your appointment. Missing these points may cause the doctor to rule out certain diagnoses.
All in all, the visit with your doctor is an opportunity to discuss your health, possibly medical test results, and to get information spelling out your desired course of action. The last thing a doctor wants to do is to prescribe medications, tell you what to do, and then cancel the visit. If you take the above suggestions to heart, you will write your doctor a prescription for a medicine that may or may not work.