Take Charge! Get the Most out of Your Doctor Visit
One of the ways to be involved in your healthcare is to maximize your visits to the doctor, whether they are yearly checkups, follow up visits to treat a condition, or a visit to discuss and diagnose a new problem.
Here are some tips to help you “take charge:”
- Have two or three goals for the visit
- Bring a pad or electronic device prepared with questions, and be ready to note down key discussion points, lab results or recommendations.
- Don’t skip yearly visits – use them as an opportunity to take care of relevant screenings, to discuss your vital signs and what they mean, and to highlight any concerns you have about risks for diseases, your weight, or other ongoing issues that otherwise might not get addressed.
- Make sure your doctor is listening to you – if you find that you are repeating discussion points, express your frustration or concern respectfully. If you feel that a specific concern has not been resolved, speak up.
- At the end of the visit, make sure your goals were accomplished or that further follow up visits are scheduled.