April 22, 2011
While I have written about this subject in the past, I feel it deserves to be revisited. The better prepared you are for an office visit, the more you will get out of it. The following are my top recommendations:
- Come prepared with clear objectives. Define your top first and second problems by going through the: who, what, when, why and how of your issues and know what you want. If you are having chest pain or breathing problems, that is number one!
- Stay on track. So many of my patients come in for one specific problem and then do the “Oh, by the way, while I’m here” spewing forth six other problems. It is hard to do justice to seven chronic medical problems during the course of an office visit. Attend to your top two and setup time to do the next two.
- Prioritize your list. It is important to know what the top two are.
- If you are seeing other doctors, tell the nurse who you are seeing and tell her what you are seeing the doctor(s) for.
- Bring your medications with you. “I’m on a blue oval pill, two yellow ones and a green one” is not only worthless, it is dangerous. Keep the pills in their original bottles. Make sure we have all of them, even if someone else prescribed them.
- Bring your supplements and vitamins. They may impact your treatment.
- Wear appropriate clothes. If you are modest, wear your bathing suit under your clothes. If your knee is killing you, don’t wear tight jeans.
- Don’t forget to ask questions. If you don’t understand what the doctor is telling you, ask for clarification.
- Ask for a written set of instructions if they are not provided.
- Know which pharmacy you want your prescription sent to. In the world of electronic medical records, prescriptions are sent over the internet.
We know these simple tips will help make your office visit a more fulfilling experience.