Doctor visits are sometimes stressful. It seems there’s so much to remember and you may become easily confused by options and instructions. You should always feel satisfied and confident about your health care plan. Join me each week to learn some insider tips on how to make the most of your doctor visit and receive the best care possible.
Being prepared for a visit with your doctor is the first step. Before your appointment, follow this simple checklist to ensure you receive the most complete care possible.Be specific when scheduling your appointment. When the receptionist or nurse knows exactly why you are making the appointment, he or she will be able to tell you what to expect and if you need to bring anything. This also helps them to schedule the correct amount of time with the doctor, allowing ample time to discuss any complex issues.
The most important part of your care starts at the doctor’s office. I understand that seeing your health care provider can be a bit nerve-racking – my job is to make you as comfortable as possible while determining the correct diagnosis and best treatment plan. However, there are a few easy steps patients can take to ensure the physician fully understands your health.
Following your doctor’s instructions is imperative to your treatment. Your doctor has made decisions that will help you stay healthy and not following them may worsen your condition.
• Fill and take prescription medication as directed. If your doctor has prescribed an activity or lifestyle change, follow directions closely.
• Schedule follow-up appointments so you and your doctor can monitor progress and make any further suggestions about treatment.
• If you forget or become confused about anything, do not hesitate to call your doctor’s office. If a nurse or other staff member is unable to help you, ask to leave a message for your doctor.
Regular Visits to Your Doctor
Regular check-ups help you build a medical relationship and make it easier to identify any potential health problems. Also, stay up-to-date on tests and screenings. Both men and women should have annual cholesterol, blood pressure and cancer screenings. These simple tests help your doctor monitor changes in your health that could signal more complex concerns. Oftentimes, when caught early on, you can avoid serious health complications.
Many factors can affect the health of your family. Click here for simple tips from Gregory Sweat, MD on how to keep your family well.