The trip to the doctor isn’t fun – we determined that in Part I. Now in part II I will suggest 3 lists to take with you to your next doctor’s visit. It’s important to be an informed patient. To get the best care from you doctor you have to be prepared and smart.
1. The Question List
The Question List is going to be the one that has every little ache and pain that you forget about once the doctor enters the room. It’s a good idea to keep an ongoing list of items between visits. Just before you go, mark off ones that are no longer an issue and prioritize them in order of importance.
2. The Medicine List
The Medicine List should list every prescribed, over-the-counter, and vitamin/herb supplement, with dosage. It’s is important because there are many medicines that sound the same, are close in spelling, and have a range of doses. Even if you don’t take anything on a regular basis think back if another doctor prescribed something for a flu or cold, if you had taken pills for blood pressure but don’t need them now – things like this can give a doctor clues to your medical history. Add any allergies too.
3. The Info/Contact List
This list will have all the junk that you might need for the stack of forms you might need to fill out. Have your insurance information ready(there are 2 or 3 numbers on the card that they might need even though they copy your card, so take your card too.). Have the names and numbers of the friends and family that you trust to be your emergency contacts. Write down medical history information like past surgeries that you’ve had, major illness that you are aware of in your family and who had/has it.
The smarter and more prepared you are the more serious your doctor will take you. Hopefully, it will result in better care. If you don’t feel like you are getting the care you deserve from your doctor, move on. You already have your lists made. -pm
Other articles in this series: