It seems like doctors get less and less time to spend with their patients these days. That's why it's so important for patients to come prepared.
Hello, I'm Dr. William Walker, the Director of
Contra Costa Health Services, and I'm here to give you some
suggestions about what to bring to your next doctor's visit.
One of my longtime patients is especially organized, and
he's a good example for all of us.
He comes to appointments armed with a
list of questions, and a journal of his significant medical problems and any
test results since his last visit.
He also brings a pencil and paper to
jot down any important information from our visit, like his blood pressure, medication changes and any special instructions I give him.
This really works well and I recommend you do the same.
Bring a written list of questions and
prioritize your questions in case you run out of time.
Educate yourself ahead of time about
tests you might need to prevent illness, such as cancer and heart disease.
Ask your provider if you're due for a test.
If you can, bring ALL your prescription medications in
their official, labeled containers, including pills, inhalers, eye drops,
ointments, vitamins and herbal supplements.
Otherwise bring a complete list.
Keep a dated journal of any
chronic health problems you have and
bring it to appointments.
Include your symptoms and test results like blood sugar and blood pressure.
Ask questions if you have them,
and don't be afraid to ask for a second opinion if
you've been diagnosed with a serious health problem.
A responsible physician will understand your concern, and
won't be offended.
If you're expecting important test results or
possibly bad news, consider bringing a relative or
close friend for emotional support.
You may be too anxious to think clearly and ask important questions.
Your doctor focuses on your most urgent problems, but these visits also serve as valuable opportunities to improve your long-tem health. For more information, visit our website cchealth.org
Thanks for listening.