How to make the most of your doctor’s visit
I know that for many people, visiting the doctor can be a stressful experience. As a physician, I can tell you that’s the last thing we want for our patients. We practice medicine to help people live healthy, happy lives. Here are some ways to make the most of your next visit with your doctor.
- Put together a list of medications you are on, including any supplements or over-the-counter medicines you frequently take. If you see a primary care doctor as well as one or several specialists, one doctor may not know what the others have prescribed you. Getting all of your doctors on the same page helps avoid any harmful interactions.
- Write down questions before the appointment. It is too easy to forget what you wanted to ask when time is short while you are in the exam room.
- Share a complete family history. This helps us assess what your risk level is for conditions like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, and provide preventative care and treatment accordingly.
- Prepare to be honest with your doctor. If you find your medical condition embarrassing or difficult to talk about, remember that leaving out details or lying to your doctor can only harm you. We are professionals who care about you and want to provide the highest level of care, and we need you to be candid about your symptoms in order to help you. Similarly, be honest with us about lifestyle factors such as smoking or alcohol use.
By cultivating a good relationship with your doctor, you can take important steps to protect and improve your health.