Tips on how to make your doctor’s visit productive

Patients often do not take advantage of the window of time they have with their doctors and fail to ask pertinent questions about their health.

The older you get, the more doctor visits you’ll need, such is life! When you make an appointment to see your healthcare provider, it is usually because there is an ailment present. Unfortunately, according to medical doctors, patients often do not take advantage of the window of time they have with their doctors and fail to ask pertinent questions about their health.

Actually, many doctors wish that their patients would be more proactive about their health. Yet research has shown that Blacks are much less likely to report trust in their physicians and hospitals; thus, are less likely to seek treatment, be compliant with recommended treatment plans, or to even seek the answers needed in order to better understand their health status.

Here are a few tips on how to make your doctor’s visit a productive one:

Dr. Google might not have all of the answers!  Many patients will Google their symptoms and automatically think that their physician will agree with what they’ve discovered online. Wrong! Even if there is an inkling of truth in the information you come across online, a doctor can offer further insight and discuss why your findings may or may not be accurate. Converse with your doctor about your online medical findings and listen to what they have to say because they can best interpret your discoveries.

Can you really trust the internet as a medical resource? There are websites on nearly every health topic, and many have no rules overseeing the quality of the information provided. Use the information you find online as one tool to become more informed. Discuss with your doctor the sites that he deems trustworthy so that you obtain information you can trust. Accuracy and reliability are two must-haves when it comes to providing facts about medical issues.

Prepare for your doctor’s visit. Make sure you come armed with the questions you’d like to ask your doctor. Oftentimes with aging, the memory is not as reliable as it once was so it is always best to write down the questions you’d like to ask your doctor during your appointment.

Discuss how you can perhaps prevent an illness from reoccurring.  Once you are cured of an illness, can it reoccur again?  Some doctors will advise their patients about preventive measures, but if yours does not, bring it up! Be proactive about maintaining good health! Ask your doctor for strategies on how to best stop a preventable illness from circling back.

Question your medications! It is YOUR body, and too many of you put your total trust in your doctor without EVER questioning! Ask your doctor what medication she is prescribing and why she has chosen it as a treatment option. There should always be a discussion about medications between a doctor and patient.

Ask your doctor about their personal wellness plan. A patient should feel free to ask their physician about changes they’ve made to live healthier. Listening to your doctor’s self-prescribed healthy lifestyle choices will perhaps motivate you to make smarter moves.

Ask your doctor about the number of patients they’ve treated with your issue. It is always comforting to find out that your physician has treated other patients with the health issue you’re struggling with at the time. Experience helps to ensure that a patient is getting the best treatment, especially when the illness is complicated.

Make regular wellness visits. Don’t wait until you’re sick to visit a physician!  Be proactive about your health! Schedule regular wellness checkups to ensure you are living your healthiest life; it is the best way to prevent the onset of certain diseases before they become symptomatic.