When you make the decision to visit your doctor, make sure you’re as prepared as possible with these helpful suggestions:
Before your Appointment
To be efficient as possible, make sure that where you make your appointment accepts your insurance. This is an important step to making sure that your insurance will help cover your medical costs. You can call or go online to your insurance website to see a directory of in-network care providers.
When making the appointment either by phone or online, provide some details about your concern so that a proper appointment time can be scheduled. If it is your first visit to this particular physician or clinic, be ready to provide information about diseases that run in your family and describe your current and past health problems and treatments. Write everything down if you worry about forgetting everything. Bring all medical records, test results and immunization records. Additionally, rank your list and prioritize your concerns.
Taking these steps before your medical appointments will help you to make the most of your time with your doctor and their health care team. Make a list of the medications you have taken or currently take. Including the dosages and frequency of prescriptions. Don’t forget to include your over the counter medications as well.
Find a friend or family member to accompany you to your visit. A lot of information may be presented at the doctor’s visit, it may be helpful to have a friend or relative to help you write things down and share medical information.
During your Appointment
Share your symptoms, relevant history and the list we spoke about above. Don’t forget about your emotional health as well, it’s does have an influence on your physical health. Your health is worth the time, repeat what the doctor has told you to be sure you understand and ask for clarification if necessary. Try to reach an understanding about your treatment plan. Asking questions about your diagnosis, treatments and medicines can improve the quality, safety, and effectiveness of your health care.
Leaving your Appointment
Find out when you should return and make the follow up appointment then. It may also be a good time to ask if you need to watch for certain warning signs, for your condition at what point if any, do you need to call in. Lastly, If you have received a new prescription, make sure you understand what condition is for, the side effects and the dosing schedule. Your physician or nursing staff will be able to provide you with this information.
You should leave your doctors office feeling like your concerns were heard and acknowledged. Together, you and your doctor should come up with a health care plan that feels right for your needs.
Dr. William Jay Bryan is a board certified orthopedic surgeon. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment call (713) 766-0023