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25 Jan 2021

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How To Prepare For A Doctor’s Appointment

Visiting a doctor can be intimidating for many of us. Taking medical decisions for yourself or a dear one is not easy. Here are some general pointers to keep in mind to optimize your limited time with your doctor’s appointment.   

Prepare in advance so help you make the most of your appointment whether you are starting with a new doctor or continuing with a family doctor. The following tips will make it easier for you and your doctor to cover everything you need to talk about.

Prepare A List Of Questions:

  • What are your issues? Are you experiencing any symptoms or unexplainable discomfort? Make a list of concerns that you want to discuss.
  • Prepare your medical history that includes the family and genetic / chronic ailments that your parents and siblings may be suffering from.
  • Write down all of your medications, vitamins, and supplements

Prepare Your Medical History

When visiting a doctor for the first time, every doctor will take down your comprehensive medical history before counselling you. Make a list of all the chronic illnesses that you are suffering from. Also make a list of the illnesses your parents and siblings are experiencing. Such details are very important, as only a medical specialist can tell if some issues are hereditary or genetic roots. Some doctors suggest you bring a list of everything you take and the dose. You should also take your medical records if the doctor doesn’t already have them.

Get Oriented With The Clinic

Your first meeting with your doctor is a good time to talk with the medical staff and medical assistants about the clinic timings. Learn what days are busiest and what times are best to call. Ask what to do if there is an emergency, or if you need a doctor when the office is closed. Also ask if there is any affiliated medical professional/doctor available online for any future queries or unexpected emergencies.

Update Your Doctor

Let your doctor know what has happened in your life since your last visit. If you have been treated by a specialist, inform your doctor. Mention any changes you have noticed in your appetite, weight, sleep, or energy level. Also tell the doctor about any recent changes in any medications you take or the effects they have had on you.

Ask a Family Member or Friend to Accompany You

Sometimes, it may be helpful to bring a family member or close friend with you. Inform your relative or friend about what you want from your doctor’s visit. She or he can take notes for you and can help you remember what the doctor said. But remember, the visit is between you and the doctor. It also means that you may want some time alone with the doctor to discuss personal matters when you can raise private concerns. Or, you could ask your family member or friend to stay in the waiting room for part of the appointment. For the best results, let your companion know in advance how he or she can be most helpful.

 Dos & Dont’s

  • DON’T put off the things that are really on your mind until the last minute—enlist them right away. This Worksheet can Help You.
  • Do try to develop your network of doctors who you are comfortable with, who will support and guide you (online or offline) in case of any future emergency. This is very important if you are living with senior citizens or are above a certain age yourself.

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