There are fewer feelings worse than leaving a doctor’s appointment, only to realize you forgot to bring up an important question or concern. This is all too common and happens to many patients as it can be overwhelming to visit the doctor’s office. If you get flustered when you visit your doctor or struggle with nervousness, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you can better prepare yourself for your upcoming doctor’s appointment, and leave knowing you covered everything that was on your list. Here are 7 tips to prepare for your next doctor’s appointment.
1. Keep a symptom diary
While you may think you’ll be able to remember all of the important symptoms and details to tell your doctor leading up to the appointment – it’s much easier said than done. Rather than trying to remember everything and risk forgetting, keep a symptom diary. You can use the Acensa Health app’s journal feature to jot down your symptoms and date as you experience them. You’ll be able to easily refer to your journal notes during the appointment and keep your doctor updated about your symptoms.
2. Make a list of questions and concerns
Before you go in for your appointment, make a clear list of questions you want to ask your doctor. It can be difficult to remember them when you’re put on the spot, so have them in physical form with you. Write out your concerns and order them by priority, with the highest priority concerns at the top.
3. Bring your documents and information along
Your doctor will appreciate you bringing in your list of medications, vitamins, and other documents with you. Most doctors are extremely busy and are on a tight schedule, so having your prescriptions, insurance cards, and information ready will help move the appointment along smoothly.
4. Take someone with you
If you regularly get flustered or nervous at the doctor’s office and end up forgetting to voice most of your questions and concerns, ask someone to come along with you to the appointment. Ask your spouse, a friend, or a family member you trust and debrief them before the appointment. Make sure they know the reason behind your visit, and what your goal is. They can also help to take notes while you and your doctor speak to help you remember everything. The person with you should take a backseat role, and only intervene when you ask for assistance.
5. Make a timeline
In order to keep your doctor up to date on all of the changes that occurred in your health since your last visit, make a timeline. Jot down any changes you’ve noticed in your health and appetite, and any visits you’ve had to other doctors or the hospital. Organize each event by date for an easy-to-read list. Your doctor will be better able to help you by knowing your full medical history, as well as any changes to your medications.
6. Write notes during your appointment
When you’re finally in the waiting room with your doctor, bring a notepad or use your Acensa Health app’s journal feature to write down notes. This is helpful if you’re going into the appointment alone, and have trouble remembering everything your doctor says to you. It can be a lot of information at once, so it’s best to keep notes throughout the appointment.
7. Be honest
More often than not, your doctor has heard it all. They see hundreds of patients each month and the doctor has probably heard what you’re about to say many times before. Don’t be embarrassed and be honest with your doctor. Having open communication with your doctor will allow them to them better help you and provide you with the resources you need for a speedy recovery.