Using Your Gut Feeling: Getting the Most Out of a Doctor’s Appointment

Knowing your own daily habits and weekly routine is just as important as the medical recommendations a physician will give you. The details of your lifestyle will guide the types of recommendations that you will receive. So, during your next discussion with your physician, here are some tips to help get the most out of your health appointments.

1. Prepare for the appointment

Don’t rack your brain trying recall the exact dosage of your medication or the year you received a tonsillectomy on the spot during appointment. Gather as much information as you can in advance so you can remain present during the appointment. A few important things to have on your checklist are:

  • Medications you are currently taking (Bringing the actually bottle)
  • Any copies of your medical record (Annual check-ups, surgery, psychological evaluation, etc.)

2. Choose a physician you feel comfortable with

When looking for a physician as a patient, be on the look out for their conversational tone, word choice, and willingness to clarify their understanding of your unique situation. You deserve a doctor who is respectful, compassionate, and genuinely cares for you. If you believe that you are not receiving that, look for a new physician. You have options, so choose a physician you can trust.

3. Bring a list of questions that YOU need answered

Before going to the physician, make a list of questions that you want answered by the time you step foot out of the office. Taking the time to pinpoint what information is important to you will better direct the discussion between you and your physician on what is relevant. Getting the answers you need will give you peace of mind.

4. Be open to discussing non-medically related challenges you are facing

Life can get in the way to taking care of yourself. If you feel that a certain treatment or medication schedules does not work with your work schedule, exercise routine, or family obligations, let your physician know. If it is possible to modify your treatment to fit your lifestyle, take advantage of it and find out what works best for you.

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