The next time you have to see the doctor, some simple tips will help you get the most out of your visit.
Going in for a checkup can be routine. But it's easy to forget all the things you want to ask your doctor, so before the appointment, make a list.
Dr. Hunter Spotts with Patient First says, "The list often needs to be prioritized, some issues may be more important than others or may represent more severe medical conditions than others so oftentimes the list has to be prioritized."
Dr. Spotts says it's important to bring another list too. A list of all the medications you're taking. And be sure to know why you're taking them.
He says, "Some of these medicines can be prescribed for different reasons and it may not be obvious to the doctor you're seeing which of those reasons you're taking it, so it's really important you understand what you're taking, why you're taking it, and ask questions if you don't know why you're taking a certain medicine."
It's even better if you can bring in the prescriptions themselves.
And don't be shy about asking questions. If you don't understand something, it's ok to ask your doctor to clarify.
Dr. Spotts says being honest with your physician will help improve the quality of care.
"Be sure you're detailed in when the symptoms started, how severe they've been, what makes them better, what makes them worse, any other medicines you've tried on your own such as over the counter medicines."
And when it's time to go home, be sure to follow through with any other directions the doctor gives you.
"They may send you for other tests, they may send you to another specialist be sure to follow through on that."
Follow up care helps doctors make a more accurate diagnosis to keep your health in check.