Preparation Tips for a Doctor’s Visit

Many Americans today have a chief complaint when it comes to their annual (or sick) visits to their health professionals. People feel rushed in and out of the office, and often leave without feeling as if they have had their questions answered and their needs met. All Smiles strives daily to provide optimal dental care, as well as giving each guest a satisfying experience –which includes enough time to visit and discuss health issues and care options. However, we ran across an article in USA Today which outlined some tips on how to prepare for a doctor’s visit so that you don’t leave with that unsettling feeling that you are still in the dark about your diagnosis, care options, or preventative techniques. It is never a bad idea to come to your health professional prepared with questions ahead of time so that you can get the most out of your visit.

Most importantly, write down your concerns and questions. Even if they are the reason you made the appointment in the first place, they may slip your mind, especially if you are anxious or in a rush to make your appointment.

Make sure you tell your doctor any and all symptoms you have been having if you are feeling ill or are concerned about a health issue. Be sure to let him/her know all medications you are taking, as well as any lifestyle changes you have made (new diet or exercise regime, more stressful workload, sleep loss, etc.). Also bring up any family history that you know that may be relevant to your visit. All of these important factors can assist your doctor in making a correct diagnosis if needed.

If your doctor prescribes you with a prescription medication, be sure to ask about the drug while your doctor is still available. Find out why this particular drug is being given, any side effects that you should look for, any alternatives to taking a medication, and if there are any generic options available. This will save you time and confusion at the pharmacy.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to call your health professional with any questions about your health or your visit–even if you have just left the office! Have the front desk write down your question if your doctor is not available. Your health is valuable, and you don’t need to rely on internet searches to find the answers you need.

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About the author

A practicing dentist since 1982, Dr. Gary Imm, provides advanced cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers, sedation, implant and TMJ services. He is committed to progressive, extraordinary care for his guests. All Smiles Dental Care trains at least 300 hours each year at such prestigious centers as the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry. (LVI)