No clues? No information? No back-story about what’s been happening in your life recently? Then even if your physician is Sherlock Holmes, it’s going to be pretty tough to “solve the crime.”
The unfortunate reality is that most physicians have an overwhelming number of patients to care for each and every day. That’s a whole lot of “cases to solve” at a rapid-fire pace. This means most physicians usually spend about 15 minutes or less with each person.
If you want to avoid that frenzied, rushed feeling, your best course of action is to walk into the examination room fully prepared, ready to dive into work.
Being prepared will help both you and your physician to work together more efficiently, get to the root of the issue faster, maximize those precious minutes, and come up with a terrific plan to get you feeling better!
Want to make your next doctor’s visit the best one ever?
Here’s a cheatsheet to help you collect the info that your doctor is (almost definitely) going to need. Print it out, fill it out, and bring it along to your visit. Or email it ahead of time. Your physician will be delighted, and you’ll be more likely to walk out the door feeling clear and empowered.
The “Best Doctor’s Visit Ever” Cheatsheet
- The issue I am having is: [describe your issue, pain, symptoms, etc]
- This issue has been going on for: [duration of time]
- Around that time, something changed in my life / lifestyle / environment, which was: [describe any changes or events that may have contributed to this issue, like a stressful break up, a job change, moving to a new home, a medication change, switching to a new brand of face moisturizer, a new exercise regime, anything you can think of]
- Here is what I have done to try to manage my symptoms on my own: [describe what you’ve been trying, including natural / alternative remedies]
- Here is what seems to be helping:
- Here is what seems to make it worse:
- Here are all of the medications I am currently taking: [don’t forget birth control and over the counter meds]
- Here are all of the vitamins / supplements I am currently taking:
- Three questions I have for you are: [the more specific, the better]
- My goal today is: [describe the result you’re hoping for, and your timeline, if applicable. like: “I want to come up with a plan that will clear up my acne by my wedding day, which is 4 months from now.”]
You’ve just made yourself the most well prepared patient in your doctor’s entire waiting room.
Have an excellent visit, and feel better soon.