There are several things you can do to better prepare yourself for a visit with your doctor. Being prepared prior to the appointment will allow you to get the most out of the short time that you and your doctor have together. It will also likely make you less anxious about the visit.
Four Important Things to Do Before Your Doctor's Appointment
- Make a list of all of the symptoms you are currently having or have recently experienced. Include anything that seems out of the ordinary, regardless of whether you think it has something to do with the exact problem for which you are seeing your doctor.
- Make a comprehensive list of your medications including any over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbal treatments, or anything else. Bring the pill bottles if you're not sure what you're taking.
- Make a list of all questions that you want to ask. This is an important step that many people forget. When your time with the doctor is short, you will likely forget some of your questions.
- Mentally prepare yourself for both good and bad news. It's important to be realistic when visiting the doctor. Some news is good, some bad. It's best to try to prepare yourself a little for both before your appointment.
Bringing a friend or family member to the appointment is often a good idea, especially when potentially stressful information is going to be discussed. Another person in the room can help you to hear (and remember) everything that your doctor says.