Visiting your doctor may sometimes be a little stressful. Therefore, we have gathered some helpful information from literature published by the National Institutes of Health, to make your doctor’s visit a little easier.
Make a list of your concerns.
Jot down a list of everything you want to ask the doctor. If you have more than a couple of concerns it is best to list them in order of importance to you. You should also take along any insurance cards, names of other physicians that you are seeing, and any pertinent medical records. It is also a good idea to make a list of all of your medications that you are taking, and include the dosage and strength. Or you can simply place all of your prescriptions and over the counter medications in a bag and bring them with you.
Make sure you can see and hear as well as possible.
Many of us need glasses or aids to assist in hearing. So remember to take your glasses to the doctors with you. If you have a hearing aid, make sure that you also take it with you to the doctor’s office and see that it is in good working order. Don’t be embarrassed to let the doctor and staff know that you have trouble hearing or seeing. This will let them know that they may have to speak slower or repeat some information.
Take a friend or family member with you on your visit.
It can be most helpful to have a friend or family member with you; a second pair of ears can be a good thing. This way your family member or friend may help remind you of what you plan to discuss with the doctor and help you remember what the doctor said after the visit. They may also help by taking notes so you can review the information later.
Plan ahead to update your doctor of any changes of medical history.
Inform your doctor about what has changed in your life since your last visit. If you have made a recent visit to the emergency room, tell your doctor right away. Be sure to mention any changes in appetite, weight, sleep, or your energy level. And of course you need to inform your doctor about any changes in medication or negative effects that they have had on you.
Remember your doctor may ask you about your life in general. This isn’t an impolite question; he/she is trying to collect a medical history in order to become informed about any major changes or stresses that may be occurring in your life. If by chance they fail to ask, try and let them know about recent changes in your life. Sometimes our life situations may have a large impact on our well-being.
Talking with Your Doctor
National Institute on Aging
National Institutes of Health