The key to a successful appointment with your doctor is communication. You need to communicate your needs, your symptoms, understand your diagnosis and discuss your treatment options. We have outlined a few tips to help your appointment with your doctor be as productive and constructive as possible.
1. Identify Your Symptoms.
The more accurately and completely you can describe your symptoms, the more likely it is that your doctor can identify your health problem and prescribe an effective course of treatment. It is advised to write down your symptoms and describe them in plain language, noting when they started and when they worsened and if they were at certain times of the day or in certain situation. Write a brief outline of your medical history, and take a list of all of your current medications. You should always have a current list of your medications written down and in your wallet. When a medication is eliminated and a new one is added, change your list immediately so it will always be current.
2. Research Your Symptoms.
Once you have identified your symptoms, research them. The more you can learn about the symptoms and what your treatment options may be, the better equipped you will be to discuss them with your doctor and understand the instructions that will be provided to you.
3. Take a Health Assessment.
Write down your symptoms about your condition and evaluate your treatment if you have already been diagnosed. List any hereditary conditions in the family that could be related. If it is heart related, take in a list of your blood pressure readings in the last week, keep a journal of your pain attacks. The more information you can provide to the doctor in advance, the better the doctor will be able to diagnose.
4. Lead the Conversation With Your Doctor.
Sometimes it is difficult know how to address your issues with your doctor. Having your questions and talking points and specific questions about your symptoms, diagnosis and medications and treatment written down in advance will help you to stay focused on the primary issues when you are with your doctor.
5. Understand Your Procedure.
If you are likely to need a medical procedure, whether surgery or a diagnostic test, such as a colonoscopy or a mammogram – learn all you can about the procedure before your visit so you will understand your options and be able to discuss them intelligently.
6. Make the Most of your Next Appointment.
You relationship with your doctor is a partnership. The better able you are to communicate your needs and understand your options, the more productive your appointment will be and the more likely you are to get the treatment you need. The time you have with your doctor is all too brief. A little preparation will make your visit much more productive.
Courtesy of 50 PLUS REPORT Editorial Team