Preparing for and Making the Most of Medical Appointments
During your medical appointment, it is easy to get sidetracked in conversation. This combined with anxiety and worry can cause people to forget to ask things they wanted to ask or raise issues they wanted to raise. The length of your visit is usually limited as doctors have schedules and people waiting for their turn. Maximise your time with the doctor by preparing for your appointments beforehand. Here are a few suggestions for how that can be done:
- Arrive early for your appointment. There is always a chance you might be seen early but if you are late, you will have less time with your doctor and you may well be flustered during your appointment.
- If seeing a new doctor, or if you are having several problems that you need to discuss, tell the receptionist when you call for an appointment so they can arrange for you to have sufficient time.
- Think about what you want to know or discuss beforehand and if it helps, write down your questions and prioritise them.
- If possible and appropriate, have a family member or friend accompany you for the appointment. They could also have a copy of the questions you have written down. They can help you make sure all your questions have been answered to your satisfaction and take notes which you can go over together afterwards.
- Start by asking the doctor the most important question first, then the next most important, and so on
- Bring a pen and paper to note down information if necessary.
- Specialists may use terminology you are not familiar with. If you hear something you don't understand, ask for an explanation.
- Most importantly, don't be afraid to ask questions.