The Doctor Is In: Tips on Getting the Most Information Out of Your Clinical Visit

Clinical visits are dedicated to diagnosing, explaining, and clarifying your health problems and recovery processes. These visits connect you with doctors and nurses whose goal is to give you professional advice in an understandable way as well as suggest how to solve future issues.  But sometimes the information discussed within the doctor’s office goes a bit too fast. By the time you get to your car,  you’ve forgotten all the details that were discussed. To solve that problem: here are some simple tips on how to get the most information out of your visit to a clinic.

  1. Take notes

 Bring a pen and paper to your appointment. Write down what the doctor is saying.This is a super helpful and easy tip.  What a doctor tells you verbally in a clinic may stick for a bit, but by the time you get to your car, you’ve probably forgotten some of their detailed instructions.  This method will help with that! By simply bringing in a notepad, you can write down what questions you want to ask your doctor or what care instructions you’re given. This can also help with listing medications you need to take, remembering how frequently and at what times you may need to take them, recording contact numbers for future procedures, or even outlining recovery steps. This essentially allows you to take note of all the information that often gets forgotten during your appointment. 

  1. Decide if you should bring a friend / or go alone 

This is another strategy for obtaining and remembering more information.  Sometimes an extra person in the room can help you think of questions you forgot to ask or didn’t know to ask. Not only will they be able to provide moral support, but they may bring a different perspective to the table. If you’re not in the position where you can take notes, you can ask your friend or family member to do it while in the room. Of course, if having a friend or family member makes the situation more stressful or complicated, know that it is okay to go alone too. Some might actually feel like they can be more honest with their doctor if it is just a one on one visit. 

  1. Be Honest and Ask Questions 

Too frequently patients want to be the “perfect patient”.  They don’t want to come off as making a big deal of their issues, but that won’t solve your problems.  Let your doctor or care provider know of any symptoms or issues you’ve been experiencing.  You won’t overwhelm them. In fact, it gives them more information to work off of and gives them a  better sense of your condition. Also,  don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask for them to clarify terms or repeat instructions if you are confused. Ask your questions because an important part getting better is understanding how to proceed from that point. 

  1. Visit and Maintain a regular doctor 

Although this is easier said than done, keeping a primary doctor can be helpful for a few reasons. A regular doctor can witness long term progression and changes within their patient. They can assess what your normal, healthy self looks like and catch if things start to go ary. In other words, if one keeps a regular doctor, that particular doctor is aware of the patient’s normal self and has been keeping tabs on their medical history. However, if one keeps switching between specialists, it can become difficult for each new facility to obtain all your medical history and know about all your conditions.  If you do need to jump between medical facilities, ask your primary doctor to provide you with important lists such as any allergies that you may have or a list of the prescriptions you can’t take. This way you can give the next place you visit a good sense of your health and wellbeing .  

If you have any questions about the clinic, or need help caring for a loved one, please call the clinic at (901) 306-5433 to schedule an appointment. As always, stay safe and healthy!

-Wellness and Stress Clinic Team

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