Sunday, October 02, 2011

Make the Most of Your Next Doctor's Visit

Before you go ...
•When making the appointment, state the nature of your concern so that a proper length of time can be scheduled.
•If it is your first visit to a particular clinic or physician, be ready to provide information about diseases that run in your family and describe current and past health problems and treatments. Write it all down if that helps.
•Make a list of medications you are taking including the doses and frequency of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as herbs, supplements and vitamins.

While you are there ...
•Your health is worth the physician's time. Restate explanations and ask for clarification.
•Share the list of medications that you made.
•Don't forget about your emotional health; it influences your physical health.
•Try to reach an agreement about the recommended treatment plan.

Before leaving ...
•Find out if and when you should return for another visit.
•Ask if you need to watch for certain warning signs for your condition, ask when you should be concerned and at what point you need to call in.
•Get backdoor contact information. What's the best way to reach the doctor if you have questions or concerns - by email? phone? What hours are best? How soon can you expect a response?
•Never leave uncertain about your diagnosis or treatment plan.

Source: Adapted from the Allina Hospitals & Clinics Web site.

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