Previsit Q & A
How to prepare for your appointment
Make a list of what you want to ask the doctor.
Write down the top three things you would like to discuss during your appointment. List anything else that's on your mind, in case you have time to bring up other topics.
Be specific when scheduling your doctors appointment.
When you call in to the doctor's office, clearly explain your reason to visit to the receptionist.
Treat staff with courtesy during your visit.
You may be anxious when you show up for your medical appointment. The professional staff you encounter - receptionists, nurses, lab and radiology staff, and administrative staff - work with the doctor to give you the best care and treatment for your good health. Patient cooperation helps them help you.
Be honest (and unembarrassed) with your doctor.
Some symptoms are tough to talk about: sexual dysfunction, addictions, hemorrhoids, a rash "down there." Equally difficult to discuss are barriers, such as inability to read well or at all. Your honesty and directness can give your medical team the kind of information it needs to treat your needs.
For example, You don't plan to fill a prescription because you can't afford it, your doctor needs to know. If you're not ready to quit smoking, go on a diet, or take medications as prescribed, you and your doctor should consider a Plan B to control chronic disease.
Make sure you understand your doctor's orders.
Your physician may write out directions for you. You're likely to remember more if you jot down notes in your own handwriting. Consider writing a few words in response to each of these questions:
- What is my main problem?
- What do I need to do?
- Why is it important for me to do this?
Follow up with return visits or additional medical tests.
Your medical history and your doctor's exam often provide first clues to a diagnosis and treatment plan. Your doctor may request lab work, x-rays, or other investigative tests before deciding next steps.
By following through as a partner with your doctor's plan, you are taking an active role in your health care. Your doctor's recommendations - whether they include more diagnostic measures, a course of medication, physical therapy, or recheck to see how well a chosen remedy has worked - become a shared responsibility in your recovery...and your commitment to staying well.
How you can take an active role in participating in your own care.
Be involved in your health care.
- Take part in all decisions about your treatment
- Share any special care needs that you have
- Ask a trusted family member or friend to accompany you to your doctor's appointment if you are too ill or stressed to participate in yourself.
- Remember you are important to the healthcare team.
Speak up if you have questions or concerns.
You have the right to question anyone who is involved in your care. Be sure to have all the information needed, and that all your questions are answered.
Ask healthcare workers to tell you what they plan to do before you consent to any procedure.
It is your right to have healthcare workers explain any procedure thoroughly, and that you completely understand. It is your right to remind any healthcare worker that has direct contact with you to wash their hands. Hand washing is very important in the prevention of spreading germs.
Bring your medications.
You need to bring all your medications in the bottles labeled from your pharmacy, and all over the counter, herbal, vitamins, and weight gain or loss products since they can be dangerous when taken with other medications. Know what medications you are taking, why you are taking them, and the potential side effects. Let your healthcare team know any ALLERGIES you have and the type of reaction you have. Be sure to ask questions about medications you are prescribed during your appointment.