The average doctor appointment lasts for seven minutes and as you probably already know this is not a lot of time to tell the doctor your symptoms, be examined, diagnosed and be prescribed medication if necessary. Due to this it is important to know how to talk to your doctor in order to get the most out of your seven minute session. The more explicit you are to your GP the more chances you have of getting a personal prescription in favor of a more general treatment.
Tips to Help You Get the Most from Your Doctor Appointment
1. Before your Dr appointment write down a list of the problems you want to talk to him about beginning with the most important. You should also list your symptoms and when and how often you feel them. If you think you will need to speak to your doctor for longer than the allotted time, ask for a double appointment when you book.
2. If you are worried about your GP appointment take a friend or relative along with you for support. Researchers have found that people forget most of what they are told when worried or stressed so having a friend or relative with you can help.
3. Don’t be embarrassed and be as honest as you can if you think you know what might be causing the problem. Your doctor will have seen or heard it all before.
4. If you want your doctor to prescribe a different type of medication or refer you to a specialist be clear about it when telling him. Be polite but assertive.
5. If during your Dr appointment you don’t understand anything ask your doctor to repeat or explain things further. If there are certain words that you are having trouble understanding, write them down so that you can look them up later.
6. If your doctor decides to refer you to a specialist clinic or hospital for treatment or further tests you should be given a choice as to where you are referred to.
What about Children?
Each member of the family should book a separate appointment instead of all visiting the doctor in one allocated slot. If you have a child or a teenager under the age of 15 you should accompany them to their doctor appointment. However it is important to understand that if your teen wishes to be seen by a doctor privately that their confidentiality will be respected.
At the end of your GP appointment make sure that you have had all of your questions answered and that you understand what happens next. This may involve tests, medication, contacting someone or dealing with a diagnosis. By following the above tips about how to talk to your doctor your seven minutes should be long enough to get through everything you need to.