Don’t go to your next visit with your primary care doctor without preparation. If you plan to show up and just expect to be told what to do, you’re not likely to get as much out of that visit than if you prepare yourself:
- Make a list of your questions and concerns in writing and make sure you know which two or three are your main concerns. Your doctor probably won’t be able to cover every question if you list a dozen of them and you may need to reschedule for a second visit.
- Bring a family member or friend you trust to help remember what was discussed.
- If you take medicines, please bring the medication bottles with you. Include everything, even medicines you get from other doctors, over the counter supplements and vitamins.
- Take notes (another reason to bring family or friend along–to take notes). Studies show that a large percentage of information is lost the minute patients step out of the examining room.
- Ask questions: “Am I due for any routine health screening?”, “What immunizations do I need?”, “Should I take aspirin?”, “What is an Advance Health Care Directive and how is it different from a POLST?”