Help Your Family Doctor Help You

Doctors, especially those who are family doctors, are trained to deal with people in a wide range of family health issues, but can only provide their service with your assistance. This is how you can be a partner, not just a patient, in you own or your family’s healthcare.

Plan ahead. Often, information that seems irrelevant to a patient is useful for the doctor, so be sure to include as much that’s relevant as you can, including any illnesses that run in the family and how the problem you have come in for impinges on your life now. It’s also helpful to provide any previous investigation results you may have. Essentially, to get a speedier and more accurate diagnosis, it’s always beneficial to include as much detail as you can but, of course, all of this will depend on your doctor.

Bring in your meds. A couple of times in a year, put all your prescription drugs as well as herbal supplements, vitamins, and over-the-counter remedies in a bag and bring it to your doctor’s appointment. This will help your doctor understand if you’re experiencing any problems with drug interactions or if you’re taking any drugs that you really don’t need to.

Make a list. If you’re likely to be nervous about an ailment, write down a list of your symptoms and any queries you might have beforehand.That way you won’t leave the clinic wishing you’d asked a certain question. You might want to make notes while you’re there too, so you don’t forget what the doctor advises.

Don’t be afraid to speak up. Your doctor is there to help and they can’t do that without all the facts. Be as honest, clear and open as possible. Your doctor has very likely heard it all before. And if you’re not clear about something your doctor has said, ask them to explain further.

You need to have constructive conversations with your doctor to get the most out of your doctor’s appointment. Think ahead before your appointment of the questions you might want to discuss, ensure that any suggested tests, treatments or lifestyle changes are right for you, and check how you can find out more information afterwards.

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