Last modified on Friday, 03 February 2012 15:59
Come prepared. Research shows that doctors interrupt patients on average after just 23 seconds and that only 2% of patients get a chance to finish their OPENING statements. Write down your top three health complaints in order of importance. Limit your written list to three main points and keep your sentences short. Most patients can provide the doctor with all the pertinent information in about 90-seconds if you are organized, direct and to the point. Example: (1) My low back is hurting every time I wake. (2) I haven't been sleep well. (3) I have a bump under my right arm that I noticed 4 days ago and it seems to be getting bigger.
Educate yourself. Patients who do their research and have knowledge about some of their concerns/conditions can get the most productivity out of their appointment time. Rather than wasting time discussing about the issue itself, you can inquire about specific treatment options. Note: if you use the internet to educate yourself, stick with URLs that end with .edu (educational institutions) or .gov (government agencies) since these sends tend to be more objective and are among the most reliable. Also rely on sites that do not contain advertising, as they also tend to be the most reliable. last but not least, check to see when the information was published. medical treatment options can change in this fast research based world.
Leave prepared. Have a pen and paper with you so that you can write down any treatment options or suggestions that the doctor tells you. if you are being prescribed medication, ask about specific doses, side effects, and possible drug interactions. Do not forget to tell the doctor what medicines you are already taking, what allergies you may have to medicines, and do not forget to include over-the-counter medicines, and dietary supplements such as vitamins and herbs. providing this information can also help your doctor keep your records up to date, which can help you get better quality care. A recent duke study found that over 20%of older patients were prescribed drugs that could cause serious side effects.