We all know that visiting a doctor is an important way to keep healthy and prevent future health problems, but are you making the most of your primary care visits?
Prepare in Advance for Your Visit
If you’ve come out of an appointment with your doctor only to remember you forgot to ask a particular question, it can be very frustrating. This is, however, a common issue. Whether it’s about a particular treatment, a change to your medication, or advice on what type of exercise is best for you, your primary care doctor can help you with a range of issues.
Therefore, it pays to be prepared when seeing a primary care doctor. Keep a list of questions, concerns, or points to mention in the days leading up to your visit. Even if you are confident you will remember your questions, or have thought of something on your way to the appointment, write it down, as it can be easily forgotten when other things arise during your visit or with other distractions.
Give Your Doctor All the Details
At a primary care visit, it is very important to give your doctor all the details regarding your symptoms in order for them to form a clear picture of any potential issues. Don’t gloss over any symptoms you have, such as tiredness, heartburn, or back pain, even if they seem unimportant or unrelated to your main issue. The more information your doctor has, the more accurate diagnosis they can provide.
Ask Questions and Take Notes
Time pressures, personal commitments, feeling below par, and other factors can make it difficult to take in all the information and advice provided by your doctor during your visit. This can be problematic and may even hamper your treatment if you don’t follow your doctor’s advice correctly. At your appointment, ensure you ask questions if you are unsure about anything. Ask your doctor to repeat anything you’ve missed, and make sure you get all the necessary information. It may be helpful to take notes during your visit to read through later when you get home, and if you’re unsure about something, call your doctor’s office for clarification.
Also, if you have concerns about anything your doctor says, don’t be afraid to voice them. It is important to feel comfortable and reassured that your treatment plan is right for your needs.
Keep Your Doctor Updated
Keeping your doctor updated on any health changes is very important to ensure you get the best care possible. This could be age-related changes, such as menopause, or a change in your weight. It may even include changes in personal circumstances, such as a divorce or the loss of a loved one, which can have an impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
You should also notify your doctor of any new information regarding your family’s health history. Family history is an important tool for predicting your risk factors for many conditions and diseases and can help to prevent such issues in the future.
Although your doctor should be up to date on your current medications, it can be beneficial to bring them (or a list of your medicines) to your visit. This ensures the details are correct and kept regularly updated. It also allows you to keep on top of what, and how much of a medication, you should be taking. Also, if you are under another doctor’s care, your primary doctor may not have yet been notified if you have started a new medication, which may influence the type of treatment you require.
Always Arrive on Time
You should always aim to arrive a bit early to your primary care visits, whether it’s an in-person visit at your doctor’s clinic or via a remote telehealth appointment. This allows your doctor to remain on schedule, as well as ensure you get as much time as possible with them. Allowing yourself plenty of time will also make you feel less rushed or stressed about your visit.
Primary Care Concierge Doctor in North Bethesda, MD
If you are looking for a high-quality, compassionate primary care provider, North Bethesda Primary Care can help. Dr. Possner focuses on your long-term health and is on hand to deliver comprehensive care for all your health care needs.
If you would like to request a complimentary meeting with Dr. Possner to find out more about our membership-based practice, call us at (301) 941-4414. Alternatively, you can find out more by visiting our How It Works and Become a Patient pages.