1. Bring a list of all your prescriptions and dosages of each, so the nurse can update your records before you see the doctor. Don’t forget vitamins, over-the-counter medication and herbal supplements.
If the doctor prescribes medicine, he or she will be aware of any potential interactions with drugs you currently take.
2. Make a list of your ailments, with the most urgent problem first. Describe the problem, when it started, the level of pain you’re having, and any other relevant info.
3. Be pleasant, of course, but don’t make idle chitchat and waste the valuable time you have! Stick to the subject of your health — because that’s what you’re paying for.
4. Ask questions – to get clarification – as the doctor diagnoses you and tells you what to do. (Examples are: What is the purpose of the medicine? How long do I take it? What does that word mean?)
5. Have a pen and paper in hand and take notes, so you have all the information you need afterwards — including the answers to the questions you asked.
It’s been my experience that doctors take you more seriously when they see you’re well prepared, ask pertinent questions and take notes. They’re more apt to explain why they’re prescribing things and answer your questions clearly when they see you’re an active participant in your health care!
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