How to Make the Most of Your Doctor’s Appointment

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It can be very frustrating when you leave a doctor’s appointment and realize you forgot to mention something important. Many people feel like their appointments seem hurried and often leave confused. Being prepared for your appointment will help you get the most out of your visit. Below are tips on how to prepare before, during, and after your appointment.

Before the Appointment

  • Determine what you want to get out of the appointment. Is it a checkup? Are you wanting a new treatment plan? Make a list of all your concerns.
  • Write down questions you might have. Include any specific questions you may want to ask. By writing them down, you can make sure that you will not forget to ask something.
  • Fill out any forms. If you are going to a new doctor’s office, you might have forms you will need to fill out. Download or get a copy of the forms before your appointment to take away the stress of having to fill them out once you arrive.
  • Log relevant information. Prior to the appointment record information such as weight fluctuations, headaches, or how well you have been sleeping.
  • List all medications and supplements you are taking. Write down the name of the medication, brand if possible, and the dosage. Also, list what each medication is used for. This will ensure that you and your doctor are on the same page.
  • Have your medical information available. Come with detailed information of your own health, and that of your family members.
  • Describe your symptoms. The doctor will ask you to list any symptoms that you may have. Think about discussing when the issue started, where it is located, how often it occurs, and whether you have consulted with another medical practitioner before about this.

During the Appointment

  • Take notes. You can look back on them later in case you forget something.
  • Ask for a copy of any lab test results or medical records.
  • Understand the answers to three questions:
    1. What is my main problem?
    2. What do I need to do? Know exactly what actions to take to fix the issue. Should you make a lifestyle change, get a test done, or take different medication?
    3. Why is it important for me to do this? If you do not completely understand why an action is needed, you may be less likely to do it. Furthermore, if you are worried about whether you can afford a certain medication or test, do not be embarrassed to let your doctor know. They can potentially help you find something else to try.

After the Appointment

  • Know the timeline. If you get a test done, know how long it should take to get your results. Additionally, if you get a referral know how long you should wait to hear about an appointment.
  • Have a plan to document everything you have learned from the visit.
  • Create new goals based off the information the doctor gave you. Mobile applications are out there to help you take a new medication, drink more water, and reach other health goals.

Tria can help

If you are still feeling confused after your doctor’s appointment do not worry! For any questions you might have regarding your medication, Tria can help. Tria Health is a no cost benefit available through select members’ health plans. Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program offers one-on-one, private consultations with a Tria Health Pharmacist. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and supplements. Tria Health will assist you in identifying any possible drug interactions or savings opportunities! Your pharmacist will work with you and your doctor(s) to ensure the intended outcomes from your medications are being received.

Call the Tria Help Desk with any questions at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/lynda-shrager-the-organized-caregiver/ways-get-most-out-of-doctors-visits/
  2. https://globalnews.ca/news/4088270/doctors-appointment-advice/#:~:text=How%20to%20make%20the%20most%20of%20your%20doctor%E2%80%99s,address%20the%20…%203%20After%20the%20visit.%20
  3. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/how-make-the-most-your-doctors-appointment.html

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