Ready for your appointment?
Face to face time with your doctor is very limited, therefore making the effort to prepare will help you get the most out of the time you do have.
As Dr. Alvin Thomas said on the podcast last week, think of your questions ahead of time, write them down and prioritize them!
Here are some other helpful points to consider as you prepare for your doctor's appointment:
Why did you book the appointment in the first place? What are the key questions you would like answered by the end of the visit?
If this is a new provider be prepared to give an overview of your medical history and your family history as well. Is there a history of diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer in your family? It is very possible you will be asked this. Text mom to ask her now instead of during the appointment and anxiously waiting to see if she replies before the visit is over :-).
If this is a follow up visit and your doctor has asked you to get some tests done, take those tests at least a week ahead of your appointment to ensure that the lab is able to send the results to the doctor in time for your follow up visit.
If you are planning to discuss a symptom you have been having recently think ahead of time about how long it’s been going on. Do you notice any patterns with the symptoms, for example, does it always happen right after a meal? These are questions you will likely be asked so it will save time if you’ve thought about it already and written it down instead of trying to recall for the first time on the spot while in the office.
If you’re a female, note when your last period was and preferably when the last few were - your cycle history is a commonly asked question.
Have a list of your medications with you in case you’re asked about them. If you read our first blog and listened to our first podcast episode you likely already appreciate the importance of this point!
Ask a trusted person to accompany you if you believe you need the support. They can also ask questions you did not think of.
Consider your attire. If it’s possible that you may need to give blood, short sleeves are easier. Ladies if you want to discuss an issue on your thigh or other part of your lower body, don’t wear that cute jumpsuit unless of course you want to go through the hassle of undressing entirely when the doctor asks to take a closer look.
Telemedicine (a virtual visit) is more popular now than ever thanks to the pandemic. If your visit is virtual it may be worthwhile to test the technology ahead of time to make sure it works. Test your video, audio and microphone on the device you plan to use and identify the quiet spot in your home where you plan to take the call.
Whether virtually or in person, arrive on time! Plan ahead for traffic, connection issues, your childcare needs or time off from work.
Thinking of these things ahead of time will save you precious time during the visit.
Lastly and most importantly don’t forget your notebook and pen!
See you in the cafe next week!