In this post, Dr. Kramer makes some suggestions to improve the quality of your doctor’s visit. Do you have any other suggestions. Please comment about how you prepare for your doctor’s visit.
Before the visit:
1) Write down and bring in a list of your symptoms, changes in your body, or other concerns and make sure they are addressed.
2) Check your medications and see if you need any refills or have any questions about them. You should know what your medications are, how to take them and how they work. Make sure your doctor knows all of the medications you are taking. If you have received prescriptions from another health care provider or if you are taking over the counter medications, bring in all the bottles to make sure your physician knows exactly what you are taking.
3) Wear clothing that will be conducive to a full exam. Be prepared to take off your shoes and socks (no nylons or girdles).
4) Avoid intense hair spray and perfume: the doctor, staff or other patients may be allergic.
5) If you have children and cannot find a babysitter, bring somebody with you to watch the child during the visit. If this is not possible, bring items to keep your child entertained, such as a coloring book or portable DVD player.
6) If your doctor asked you to keep track of your sugars, please bring the log with you. If there is an entry with a particularly high or low sugar, analyze your diet and exercise pattern and write down any deviations from the prescribed regimen which may explain them.
7) Find out the last time you saw an ophthalmologist and had a dilated eye exam.
8) Examine your feet regularly and inform your physician if there are any problems.
9) Your doctor has a limited amount of time: plan how to use it wisely.
During the visit:
1) Take your shoes and socks off before the doctor comes into the exam room.
2) Make sure you ask about your sugar level, and see if a Hemoglobin A1C was done. Find out if you have reached your target goal. If you are not at that goal, ask your health care provider what you need to do to achieve it.
3) Ask about your blood pressure, and see if you need to adjust your diet or medication.
4) Ask about your cholesterol, and see if you need to adjust your diet or take any medication for it.
5) Review all medication with your physician, and make sure you understand what you need to take, why you need to take it, and how you need to take it.
6) Make sure your doctor checks your feet, and ask if (s)he has any recommendations for foot care.
7) Ask your health care provider if you need to see an ophthalmologist, and if so, make sure you get a referral if you need one.
8) Make sure you understand all of your physician’s recommendations and can implement them. If you were advised a type of diet you feel unable to follow for any reason, discuss this with your physician.
9) This goes without saying, but be honest with your physician. Remember that your doctor is there to help you.
After the visit:
1) Review all of the recommendations, and plan your day to enable you to follow them. For example, if you were advised to exercise every day, put it in your schedule.
2) If you cannot follow a recommendation for any reason, call your physician.
3) If you were advised to see another physician, make an appointment as soon as possible as some physicians have long wait lists.
4) Call your physician if you run out of medications, have unexpected changes in blood sugar, develop new symptoms that were not discussed or if the symptoms that were discussed have worsened, or if you have any other concerns or questions.
5) Continue to faithfully keep your exercise and diet logs and have them ready for the next visit.
MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.