While lots of people may feel anxious over visits to the doctor, there are actually a lot of ways you can prepare yourself for a positive and productive doctor’s visit, even if you aren’t feeling well in the moment. The doctor’s office doesn’t have to be a place of stress. Instead, you should view your doctor as a resource for the very best information possible when it comes to your medical situation, so try to make the most of each visit to the doctor.
1. List Your Priorities
When preparing for a doctor’s appointment, it can be helpful to treat it like an important meeting for work. Just as you would prepare your thoughts and write out some ideas for a work meeting, you should also try to organize your thoughts and priorities before heading to the doctor’s office. If you have specific questions, write them out so that you don’t forget them once you arrive at the office.
In addition, be sure you assign different value to each item on your list. Know what you would like to discuss first, second, and third. Having an idea of your priorities will help you make the most of your visit. That way, instead of asking an inconsequential question first and losing all of your time talking about that, you can discuss the matters that are most important to you early on in the appointment.
2. Have Your Paperwork in Order
Being organized is an important part of going to the doctor, for yourself but especially for your child. It is important to have all of the relevant information easily accessible, and you will want to bring with you the information you think you’ll need the most. One way to organize your medical information is to utilize a smart phone app like Family Medical Manager, which allows you to input any and all information related to doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and medical expenses. That way, you can carry all of your medical info with you whenever you see the doctor.
In particular, you will need to have any necessary paperwork, medical history information, and insurance info readily available. If you are bring your child in for a checkup that is required for registering at school, for example, you will want to bring the forms with you and make sure each of the required items is checked off the list. If you are visiting a specialist, be sure to bring some documentation from your physician regarding the issue (if you have visited your physician previously) and ask that they share information with your doctor following the visit.
Regarding insurance, it is always important to know what your plan covers and what it does not cover. Be prepared to cover the necessary co-pay, and work with your doctor’s office to get your insurance information in line if you change plans.
3. Set Your Expectations
It is also important to mentally prepare for your doctor’s visit by thinking about what the entire process will be like. This is especially important if you are bringing your child in for a check-up. It will always help make them feel at ease if you go step by step through the process of what the visit will be like.
In addition, it is important that you plan out time for unexpected delays. Be sure that you have set aside enough time for a long appointment, should there be a wait or should you need extra tests done. You can reduce stress for yourself later by properly preparing your schedule for the doctor’s visit.
Ben Blanchard is the Programming Services Manager for Acadian, the creator of the Family Medical Manager app. The Family Medical Manager app is the definitive medical record app for families and individuals.