July 23, 2013
A visit to your doctor’s office may be a bit overwhelming, especially when there is a lot of information to exchange. Here are a few recommendations to help you make the most of your visit:
- Write down your questions prior to your appointment. Make a copy for yourself and your physician. Prioritize the list. Having a list helps your physician recognize and address your major concerns.
- Bring an updated list of all your medications, and make a copy for your physician. The list should include the names of the medications, the strength, the dose, the directions, reason for taking the medications and the name of the physician who prescribed them. Remember to also list non-prescription medications including herbal remedies.
- Write down any symptoms you may have. “My back hurts” is very vague. Try to be specific as possible. Is the pain to the right or left side; lower or mid-back? Describe the pain: sharp or dull, constant or intermittent. How is the pain affecting your daily routine? Are there situations or activities which cause or perpetuate the pain? How long have you been experiencing the pain? Have you taken any medications to try and alleviate the pain?
- You may want to bring an objective family member or friend to your appointment. They can help you recall the answers to your questions and any other information the physician may provide.
- Office visits tend to run anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes, so you must be realistic about what can be covered during this time. However, if you have multiple major issues, let your physician’s office know when you call to make your appointment. You may need and extended visit, or need to make two appointments.