How to prepare for an office visit to your MD

1.Come with questions and ask them.  Make a list and bring it with you.

2.If you have more questions after the first visit, write them down and either send a letter to the doctor, call the office, or leave a message. 

3.Don’t be shy, it’ll do you no good.  Bring support if needed:  a spouse or friend.

4.Keep the conversation on track.  Don’t go off on a tangent that is not related to your   concerns.  Try not to let the doctors’ questions interrupt your train of thought.

5.Take notes, or tape record your visit. Most patients don’t remember half of what happened during their visit.

6.If you do not feel confident with your doctors’ recommendations, treatment or diagnosis, ask for a second opinion.  Even though this can be difficult, a good doctor will honor your request.

7.Let your doctor know your limits.  If you feel hesitant or fearful regarding a test or treatment let them know. Ask what other choices do you have?  Sometimes repeating a simple test may answer many questions.

8.If you are given disturbing news by your doctor and feel overwhelmed, just tell them that you are overwhelmed and need to come back to talk another time.  Then, you can prepare questions and research your condition and bring someone with you for support and clarification.

9.Educate yourself. If you have a chronic or serious illness, get a notebook and build your own reference library, with notes, medical records, responses to treatments, articles, etc. Be informed.

10.Research has found that the more a patient is involved in their care, the more their health is improved and the more there is a  felt  sense of control.