How can I make the best use of my doctor's appointment?
Know ahead of time what you want to talk about and talk about your most serious problem first. Be prepared; write down your concerns and questions. Don't expect your doctor to be a detective. That means being specific about your symptoms and sharing information honestly and completely. Don't hesitate to ask questions like the following. I don't understand that word, what does it mean? How do I take this medication? Is this test/procedure necessary? What are the risks? What if I chose not to do anything? Take time to learn as much as you can about your health problem and then work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that you can successfully carry out.
Gail Carlson, MPH Ph.D., Continuing Medical Education, School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Tuesday, November 25, 2008