The average doctor visit lasts only about 15 minutes. Are you doing everything possible to get the most from it? Follow these 14 steps to ensure a quality visit and the healthiest you possible.
Before your appointment
- Provide the office with your current and complete medical history
- Write a detailed account of your problems and symptoms. Be clear and specific.
- Track the results of home tests like weight, temperature, blood sugar, and blood pressure and bring to the appointment.
- Bring a list of medications and dosages that you take. Include prescription, over-the-counter and vitamin and herbal supplements.
- Write down your most pressing questions for the doctor.
During your appointment
- Ask these questions: What is my main problem? What do I need to do? Why is it important for me to do this?
- If you don’t understand something, ask the doctor to explain it further.
- Be honest. Don’t hold back information even if it’s embarrassing.
- Bring a friend or family member to help interpret information.
- Bring test results and contact information from other doctors.
After your appointment
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations.
- If you have additional questions, call the office.
- Schedule follow-up visits and labs. Don’t skip them even if you feel better.
- Take medications as prescribed.