How to Get the Most From Your Doctor’s Visit

You may have waited weeks to get in to see your doctor, and now that you are there, the clock is ticking.  You have taken time out of your busy schedule and are paying hard earned money for this visit, as your insurance deductible has not yet been met.  How do you get the most out of your doctor’s appointment?

  1. Plan ahead:  Make a medical problem list and prioritize it.  When scheduling, tell the receptionist ALL of the concerns that you have wish to have addressed so that you will be given enough time for your visit.  If possible, try to get the first appointment of the day, as the doctor will more likely be on time.  Avoid Monday and Friday visits if at all possible, as these days tend to be the busiest in a medical office.
  2. Arrive early:  A new patient should arrive 30 minutes before their appointment time in order to fill out paperwork, and established patients 10 minutes early.  New patients should bring a list of all their prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as any supplements.  A copy of any pertinent records from all other medical providers is also helpful.
  3. Be concise:  Present your concerns in as few words as possible.  Physicians are trained to develop a list of questions in response to a patient’s chief complaint in order to make a diagnosis.  A lengthy presenting story or response to a physician question often delays and complicates the medical decision making, as well as shortens the time needed to address other concerns.
  4. Bring a confidant:  A family member or trusted friend can provide support, as well as another person’s perspective.  They may also help answer questions, and assist in remembering what was said.
  5. Get it in writing: Taking notes helps the human brain retain twice as much information compared to just hearing it alone.  If you don’t understand, ask for clarification.  Always request a written copy of the diagnosis and treatment plan from your physician.

North Idaho Direct Primary Care is dedicated to improving the medical experience by providing individuals and families with a superior level of service that is patient-centered.  We offer same and next day appointments in a relaxed, unhurried setting, and we schedule enough time to address all of a patients’ concerns.   Our comprehensive primary and urgent care services are provided for one low monthly fee based on age and without any additional copay.  Call us today at 208-772-5204 or email us at [email protected] and schedule a free 30 minute, no obligation appointment to meet Dr. Samuel and discover all the benefits that our direct care practice has to offer. Click here if you found this article helpful and would like to sign up to receive our monthly medical newsletter.

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