How Do You Prepare to See a Doctor

How do you prepare to see a doctor?

Whether you are starting with a new doctor or continuing with the same doctor you have been seeing for yours, a basic plan can help you make the most of your appointment.

How do you plan a visit?

Prioritise:

  • Do you have a new symptom you need to ask your doctor about? 

  • Are you concerned about any medication or treatment plan?

  • Make a Medicine List

    • Name

    • Generic version

    • Application or Use of the Medicine 

    • Dosage 

    • Duration of the medicine 

    • Side-effects

    • Restrictions on food, drinks sot activities 

    • What if you miss a dose?

    • What if you accidently take more than the recommended dose?

 

Scheduled Medical Test:

  • Name of the Test 

  • Reasons for the test

  • Any special preparation before the test

  • Fasting for the test

 

Diagnosis: 

  • Understanding the diagnosis 

  • Prognosis 

  • Treatment options 

  • Need for special help if any to manage the condition at home 

  • Type of treatment 

  • Insurance cover

 

Choosing a hospital:

  • Identifying a hospital with the best possible care

  • Insurance coverage with the hospitals 

  • Identifying if the hospital has positive outcomes for the condition

How to visit a doctor

Importance of Having a Family Doctor:

  • The family doctor is aware of your medical history, conditions, immunity, overall health better given that he/she is in regular contact 

  • Will be able to suggest a specialist only if required to avoid over diagnosis and over treatment.

  • Can help you in emergency and common flu or fevers.

  • Is aware of some common community-based illnesses around your region or community 

  • May suggest and co-relate the ongoing or current conditions with other family members who also visit the same physician.

  • Can help understand genetic facts and recommend better prevention 

  • Understands the drugs that have worked for you and are likely to work in your family, given the genetic predisposition

  • Understands your lifestyle, monetary health and maintains a better relation due to his practise being directly related to the families and neighbouring habitat.

Avoiding Doctor Visits:

  • Affordability 

  • Lack of access to an appropriate physician 

  • Afraid of bad news 

  • Fear of doctors or previous bad experiences with doctors

  • Inability to comply with treatment plan 

  • Lack of trust in the doctor 

  • Seeking help of the internet or friends instead of professional medical care 

  • Fear of being called out for unhealthy habits

 

 

Tips - When Talking with Your Doctor:

  • Do not hide any information from your doctor 

  • Keep a list of your symptoms and health history 

  • Bring an updated "health history" list for your doctor visit 

  • Keep your previous prescription list 

  • Speak about allergies with respect to food and medicine. 

  • List down alternative therapies or medicines that you may have taken. 

  • Carry you other medical information, such as x-ray films, reports and records. 

  • Ask questions. If you don't, your doctor may think you understand everything that was said.

  • Write down your questions before your visit. List the most important ones first to make sure they get asked and answered.

  • You might want to bring someone along to help you ask questions. This person can also help you understand and/or remember the answers.

  • Ask your doctor to draw pictures if that might help to explain something.

  • Take notes.

  • Some doctors do not mind if you bring a tape recorder to help you remember things. However, always seek permission to do so.

 

Do Not Forget to Follow Up

  • If you have questions, call.

  • If your symptoms persist or get worse, or if you have problems with your medicine, reach out to your doctor immediately.

  • If the doctor has run tests and you haven’t heard from your doctor, follow-up. 

  • If your doctor has prescribed tests or blood works, reach out to the lab and make appointments to get the tests done

  • If your doctor recommends an opinion of a specialist, seek an earliest appointment and inform your doctor of the outcome.