5 Tips to Get What You Need Out of a Doctor’s Appointment
Sometimes people feel they don’t get what they need from doctor’s appointments and this maybe because doctors are very busy people and often rushed. Whether you’re seeing a specialist like a neurologist or oncologist, or simply your family doctor, it can be hard to get his or her attention and time. And many people leave doctor’s appointments realizing they didn’t even get what they came there for in the first place due to the rush that a doctor is often in. Use these tips to ensure you get what you need out of a doctor’s appointment.
Doctor’s Appointment Tip #1: Think about it.
Before you head to your doctor’s appointment, make sure you’re clear on exactly what you need to get out of it. If it’s an answer to a question, a new prescription, or a referral, make sure you think about these things ahead of time so you have clear goals going in. Try not to bring more than one issue to a doctor at a time as there isn’t usually time to address multiple concerns.
Doctor’s Appointment Tip #2: Write it down.
Once you’ve determined exactly what you need from your doctor’s appointment, write it down. Many times, once a doctor steps into the room, our questions seem to vanish, but if you write your questions, concerns, and goals down ahead of time, this won’t happen.
Doctor’s Appointment Tip #3: Ask questions.
When you’re in your doctor’s appointment, make sure you understand what is being said to you by asking lots of questions and even reiterating back what you’ve heard to make sure you’ve got it. Remember, sometimes doctors will speak in medical jargon that you reasonably won’t know so it’s okay to ask questions to ensure things are phrased in a way that you can make use of.
Doctor’s Appointment Tip #4: Write it down (again).
It’s not just important to write down what you want to say, it’s also important to write down what the doctor said. Often information will be flowing so quickly that you’ll forget a dosing instruction or a detail that really matters. Take notes on what is being said so you can go back to them later if you need to.
Doctor’s Appointment Tip #5: Don’t leave until you’re satisfied.
Once you’re in your doctor’s appointment, don’t leave until you have checked the items off of your list. Don’t walk out of the room with a pile of questions unanswered. If the doctor absolutely can’t address your concerns in that appointment, make sure and book another one when there’s more time or get a referral to someone else who can help.
Getting What You Need Out of a Doctor’s Appointment Matters
Remember, there is no point in going to the doctor unless he or she meets your needs so don’t be shy about asserting them. Ultimately, doctors work for patients so unless we walk out of that room satisfied, they haven’t done their jobs correctly.
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“This article was written by award-winning mental health writer and speaker, Natasha Tracy.”