Business interests have taken over healthcare, so most physicians are on a tight schedule. For patients, time is not on your side, therefore being prepared is essential in making your doctor office visit effective:
- wear clothing that can easily be removed to take blood pressure and vital signs during a physical exam;
- bathe before coming in;
- go to the bathroom beforehand unless you know a lab test might be needed;
- allow a family member or advocate to listen and advise;
- take notes with pen and pad;
- prepare a list with questions and bothersome symptoms with the most important at the top;
- bring in your medicines (including over-the-counter, like vitamins) or an up-to-date list;
- listen carefully to questions and be exact and concise with your answers;
- stay focused on medical problems and don’t deviate (like talking about grandkids) unless asked;
- when you arrive, let nurses know of any prescriptions or paperwork that must be completed;
- bring reading material for the wait, and expect delays being considerate your doctor may be caring for an extremely ill patient, which one day might be you.
A patient must be patient, but also prepared to make a doctor office visit effective.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.
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