Making the Most of Your Office Visit
Unfortunately, time for office visits is limited. We do not want to rush patients through these visits, so it is important that you determine in advance the most important questions concerning your condition. We still make every effort to answer those questions during your visit. However, your provider may suggest a follow-up visit to discuss certain medical issues if there is not sufficient time to discuss all of your concerns. Here are a few suggestions which may help to make your visit more productive.
- Make a list! Bring a list of the 2 or 3 problems about which you are most concerned.
- Start with your major problem. To be sure your provider is aware of your most serious concerns, cover that first. Even if the problem is sensitive or personal, address it first so there is sufficient time for discussion.
- Worried? Tell us about it. Rather than just listing your symptoms, tell us if you are worried about a specific diagnosis or treatment so that we can address your concerns directly.
- Know your medications. If you are taking several medications, please have a complete list with you or bring along the actual prescription bottles.
- Tell it all! Sometimes we may be embarrassed or reluctant to discuss certain medical concerns or lifestyle behavior patterns. To obtain the help you are seeking, we need to have accurate information in order to solve the problem. Doctor-patient confidentiality does exist!
- Avoid distractions. Leave the cell phone and pager at home- or at least turn them off before entering the building. They should not be allowed to waste your time with your provider.
- Take advantage of educational information. Whenever possible we will provide you with pertinent, helpful information regarding your medical problems or treatments.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to accommodate every single request for a same day appointment. In order to see patients as quickly as possible, we may ask you to wait until the following day or even refer you to the Emergency Department for evaluation. Some medical problems, such as acute chest pain or serious injuries cannot be treated within an office setting and necessitate more extensive facilities. In these situations we may recommend immediate assessment in the Emergency Department.