getting the most out of your appointment

14 April 24 | Drs Dani, Lim and Taraborrelli

Meeting with your doctor - what can you expect?

You may have been waiting a long time to discuss your symptoms and numerous concerns with your doctor. However on the day of your appointment, you recognise that you are going to be given 10-15 minutes by your general physician or perhaps 20-30 minutes to discuss with your speciality doctor to discuss your symptom history, your concerns and still leave time at the end to discuss the treatment options. 

Here are our top tips to managing your appointment:

 

 

Top tips

1. Consider carefully what you would like from the appointment in advance of the appointment, ideally a few days before. If there are any burning questions please write these down as the strongest memory is weaker than the faintest ink.

2. Bring a list of all previous relevant clinic visits, diagnostic tests and  a drug list – do not assume specifically that your doctor will be able to access the electronic system at another practice or hospital. Any information you have to hand, will be very helpful for your doctors.

3. Aim to have a good initial encounter with your health care professional. Setting the tone, simply with a “Good afternoon how are you?” or ” I understand the clinics are inundated and I understand why things are running late” can put your doctors mind at rest, and allow for a more positive interaction for the clinical consultation from the outset.

4. Understand and be aware that your doctor may not be able to provide the answers to all your questions – because the field of medicine is incredibly wide ranging and ever-expanding. Most doctors know a little bit about everything, but may lack the specific knowledge about whatever granular detail is needed. This is not a “failure” of the doctor, but merely the way medicine is a very vast subject, particularly in an illness involving multiple facets or organs, beyond the scope of your typical specialist doctor or “…ologist”. 

5. Don’t be afraid to seek clarification about the diagnosis, tests or medications prescribed. 

6. Be positive in your interactions – it brings out the best in both yourself and the doctor!

 

 

Conclusion

The clinical consultation is a 2 way process involving a human interaction between you (and your family/spouse/child) and the doctor(s). Embrace this interaction with positivity, gratitude and compassion. The kindnes you show will maximise the chances of bringing out the best possible interactions with your health care professionals. 

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