We don’t think about it much, but when going to the doctor there are a few tips that we can use that will help to be more efficient with our visit.
Generally when we go to see a physician, we are set in the waiting room, for an interminable amount of time (I promise we’re working!). Finally, we are called back to see the physician so that we can get our appointment underway. In actuality, there are things that we could have done before the appointment that would make it much more efficient. I’m going to talk a little bit about that today, in hopes that this will be a valuable piece of information to you that you can use in your life.
When you call your doctor’s office to get an appointment, many times you are being sent by your primary care provider with a specific problem in mind as to why you are seeing this particular doctor. With the best meaning intentions your primary care provider may not have been able to send any of the records that relate to your particular problem at this time, or in some cases the records may not be available. Because of the vast disconnectedness of the medical information system that we have at this time this can put both you and your new doctor behind the curve in getting to an answer.
Here are a few things that I recommend that you have ready before you come to the appointment:
- Describe in your own words what the problem is that you want addressed…
- As best as possible identify the onset, location, duration, and any characteristics of the problem that you think are relevant.…
- Describe what you feel makes it better, or what makes it worse…
- To your knowledge is there anything that you think contributed to this?
Additionally, if your primary care practitioner has already performed some tests try to get copies of them and bring them to your appointment. Do not count on the medical establishment to send the information for you. For instance:
- If a CT, or MRI has been ordered, when was it ordered? And do you have a copy the results?
- If you don’t have results, where was the test done?
- If you have seen another specialist, do you have any notes? What did they tell you?
- Have you been placed on any medications? Do they work?
The whole purpose of your being your appointment is to get to your problem, and find a solution. If you can help in even a small part of doing what is listed above I guarantee that it will help you achieve your goal. In most cases, your physician is trying to be as efficient as possible. With your help, you can move the process along efficiently and be the better for it!