Have you ever walked out of an appointment with your healthcare provider feeling like there was more you wanted to discuss? Don’t take a backseat to your personal health and wellness—prepare before you walk through that exam room door!
Here are some tips for making sure you make the most out of that 15-minute visit:
Seeing a new healthcare provider for the first time?
- Create a brief list of your medical history
- Write down the names of the prescriptions, or, better yet, snap a picture with your phone
- Have your previous provider send over your records and/or any tests that you may have taken recently
- Prepare a list of your other providers’ names and phone numbers
- Don’t forget that insurance card!
- Finished early? Make the most of your 15 minutes by asking additional questions and engaging in conversation
See a new medication or medical device on TV that you think might improve your overall health?
- Research it by looking into the company that makes it
- Go online and look for reviews from others like you
- Get a list of the symptoms and prepare a list of questions to ask
Not feeling well?
- Create a list of your symptoms
- Keep a journal prior to the visit so you can track anything unusual
- Keep a list of any changes you may have made recently to your daily routine
- Don’t forget to wash those hands! (before and after the visit)
Use the buddy system:
- Bring a partner or caregiver; they can take notes or they even might ask something you planned on asking but forgot
Remember, don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the waiting room; focus on your plan, and stick to it! This is your healthcare team. It’s a partnership; the more you communicate, the better your experience will be. Don’t be afraid to really make the most of those 15 minutes you have!