Here’s how you can make the most of your medical appointment:

I suggest you bring a book to read or something to occupy your wait time. (This may apply more in Canada, where you often wait over an hour for a booked appointment). That way your stress level (from being kept waiting soooo long) won’t hijack your brain. When I’ve had wait times over an hour, by the time I get in I just want to go home and I leave unsatisfied. Perhaps pack a lunch. And a sleeping bag.

Bring detailed information to your appointment For example; a pain diary, current list of medications, symptoms, dates of illnesses, times you were unable to work, and how your life is being affected (quality of life).

Know your Medications; Both generic and brand names, common side effects and drug interactions. Ask when you should start to feel better, what to do if you don’t feel better, how long should you wait before giving up on a treatment and trying a different one?

Ask Questions Bring a brief list of questions/concerns.

Write it down  Take notes at the appointment, it’s hard to keep it all straight otherwise. Or have someone come with you who can take notes.

Ask for Copies of your lab results, etc

At the pharmacy, ask questions you may still have about medication. They are the unbiased experts.

When you try a new treatment, keep a log of side effects and changes to your condition. If your doctor’s plan hasn’t helped, ask for a referral to a specialist. Be assertive.

Find your motivation to be thorough; don’t expect to receive top-notch medical care without any effort on your part. Be nice to the staff at the doctor’s office!




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