1. Get Organized: Before visiting the doctor, take some time to think about important questions you have about your health. The more information you give your doctor, the better he or she can take care of you.
2. Make a List: Write down some questions to ask your doctor during your visit. Take notes when you’re feeling great and when you’re feeling bad. You never know what symptoms might be a sign of something more serious. Be sure to note any vitamins, supplements and prescriptions you take.
3. Ask Your Questions: Now that you’ve made a list, you must remember to take it to your doctor appointment. It is okay if you have a lot of questions. Talking with your doctor can help find any potential health issues and help you to get healthier more quickly.
4. Write Down the Answers: You should take notes when your doctor answers your questions. When you get home, look back at what your doctor said. Your doctor is used to taking complex medical subjects and making them easy for patients to understand.
5. Follow Through: Keep this list somewhere safe and refer back to it later. Take notes about changes in how you feel when you follow the list… or when you don’t. Taking notes about those changes can help your doctor see what’s working the next time you talk.
6. Stay in Touch: One way to stay healthy is to stay in touch with your doctor between visits. Sometimes, you can get answers over the phone from a nurse or a nurse practitioner. A phone call may help avoid an urgent trip or waiting until your next appointment.
7. We’re a Team, and You’re Part of It: You are a key part of your health and wellness. Only you know how you’re feeling and it’s important to share that with your care team. Your doctor’s goal should be to provide you with the care you deserve at every visit. If you feel that your questions or concerns have not been answered, let them know.
Editor’s Note: This article was provided by Partners in Primary Care. For more information or tour our clinics, visit www.partnersinprimarycare.com.