Top 4 Doctor Appointment Tips


Recent research conducted by various national universities suggests patients now receive about 11 minutes of face time with their doctors. Fewer primary-care physicians, overwhelmed office schedules and more patients are leaving doctors scrambling, and the result is less patient time. Because of this, patients must make sure the time they get with their doctors is quality time.

  1. When scheduling appointments, patients should be sure to explain why they are coming in and if the appointment is an annual checkup or for a specific health concern. This allows the proper amount of time to be set aside for the issue.

  2. New patients should bring their medications and any documents involving their health histories. For those with chronic illness or issues, providing a detailed record of symptoms and where they occur narrows the time the doctor has to spend hunting for the precise location of the problem.

  3. When beginning a conversation with a physician, patients should use specifics. Losing time can be avoided by being concise. However, patients should never shy away from stopping the doctor to ask questions when they need clarification. This is very important and many patients forget or are uneasy about doing this.When patients want additional information, they can ask if the doctor has a handout to read or an Internet site to recommend.

  4. To avoid further lost time with follow-up visits, patients must ask the most critical questions first. Many times patients will wait until the end of the appointment to inquire about the things bothering them most, but by that time, patients will not get the quality time they deserve. Remenber that doctors are busy and you must maximize any face time you have with them.