Have you recently seen a doctor, either for the annual exam or for a specific condition, For many people, it is a challenge to remember everything that you need to tell the doctor, such as your medications, your health concerns, etc. However, these information is often asked during the visit and will help the doctor to have a complete picture of your health status. A little preparation will make the process much easier and smoother.
Here are the homework that you need to do before seeing a doctor:
- List your illnesses and/or health concerns. Keep an informal log of your medical conditions, treatment, notes from previous doctor visits, test results, etc. has been highly recommended by primary care doctors, according to a survey among primary care physicians. Be sure to prepare a few questions to the doctor.
- Provide information diseases that run in your family. Family medical history allows doctors to see whether you have a higher-than-usual chance of having common disorders, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.
- Make a list of your providers and pharmacies. The doctor needs to know what other care you are receiving. It would also be nice to have your pharmacies’ information handy, including pharmacy name, telephone and address. Many doctors are now using E-prescription and send the information directly to your pharmacy.
- Make a list of the medications you are taking, including prescription medication, over-the-counter medications, herbal preparations, vitamins and supplements. You also need to include information on dosage of these medications.
- Monitor your lifestyle, including things like smoking, drinking, physical activity, diet, etc. Those information may trigger some important discussion and will help the doctor to give you most helpful advice.
On average, we only have 15 minutes to see the doctor. Getting these information ready before your doctor visit will make your visit more productive. I am sharing a template of “My Medical Information Sheet” (a Word Version my-medical-information-sheet and a PDF Version my-medical-information-sheet) that I created and have used to prepare information needed for my doctor visit. It is free to download for your own use. Hope you will have all these information ready before your next doctor visit.