- Provided your visit is not due to an emergency, create a detailed list outlining your condition or symptoms.
- If the symptoms are recurring, note what happens just before or after symptoms occur, and make note of any patterns or possible associations (for example, "My nose runs after I drink cold milk," "My stomach hurts after I drink coffee," etc.).
- Make a list of the questions you have.
- Bring a list of all the vitamins and medications you're taking.
- Create a list of any family health history that may be important.
- Make note of any stressful circumstances that you've been experiencing, and include timelines for how long you spend experiencing the stress.
- Let your doctor know you have a list of (#) questions; this way, your doctor can make sure to leave time to get to all your questions.
- Make note of the responses that your doctor gives you. This way you won't forget what he or she said.
A Answers (3)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredThese days the typical doctor visit is short -- averaging 5 to 15 minutes. The following tips can help you prepare for your visit to the doctor:
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredYou can learn to be a better patient when you visit the doctor by making it a habit to arrive prepared and informed. Write down questions before you go so you won't forget any important points. If you've noticed a particular problem, write down your symptoms. Keep track of how often that problem bothers you. Make a copy to give your doctor. If you are going to see the doctor for a condition that is chronic, keep a log. If you have a pain that comes and goes, note when it comes and how long it lasts. Keep track of the foods you eat, the activities you perform, and anything else that might seem relevant. Write down all medicines including herbs, supplements, minerals, and vitamins you take, and the dosages you take. The more information your doctor has, the better he or she will be able to help you.
Even if a symptom seems too minor to be mentioned, err on the side of caution and tell your doctor anyway. Some conditions manifest in very odd ways. When something hasn't felt right for a while, it's probably not just in your head.
Get into the habit of doing research. Go to the library and look up a basic medical textbook, or use the Internet to find information on whatever ails you. A number of health information Web sites are run by major medical centers, and hundreds more are sponsored by organizations of varying credibility. Perhaps you will stumble across a description of exactly what you are experiencing but haven't been able to put into words. On the other hand, don't be a gullible reader.
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Before your appointment you should write down all of your symptoms. Also, you should have ready all of your medical information and a list of conditions that you have been treated for recently. Have the names of all of the medications that you are currently taking. It is advisable that you have someone else drive to the appointment because the pain from the diagnostic procedure can make driving unsafe.