Seeing Your Doctor? Make Every Minute Count

The average doctor’s visit only lasts 10 to 20 minutes. That doesn’t give you much time, so here are some helpful tips to make the most of your visit.

Before you go:

Make a list of any health concerns, from the most urgent to the least.

Make a list of any symptoms you’re experiencing. A symptom can be any of the following: pain, fever, a lump or growth, an unexplained change in weight, or trouble sleeping.

Ask yourself the following questions about any symptoms:

When did they start?

  • Are they constant? If not, when do I experience them? How long do they last?
  • Does anything I do make them better? Worse?
  • Do the symptoms affect my daily activities? Which ones? How?

Make a list of any medications you’re currently taking, with the contact information of the pharmacy you use.

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Take a few minutes to write down any changes in your health since your last doctor’s visit.

If you are seeing a doctor for the first time, plan to bring your medical records from your previous doctor.

You may even want to bring some notes on any medical conditions that run in your family or past health conditions you’ve dealt with and how they were treated.

If seeing a doctor makes you nervous, consider bringing a friend or family member to help you take notes or ask questions.

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