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How to Maximize your Time with your Doctor

Getting in to see your doctor can sometimes take weeks, so when you finally have his or her undivided attention, be sure to use your time wisely and get all of your questions answered.

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  • Research your family tree and ask your parents the tough questions about your family's health. You should know if cancer or high blood pressure runs in your family so you can take precautionary measures early on
  • It is imperative to be 100% honest with your physician. Although it might be embarrassing to talk openly about your sex life or your mental health, even how much you drink, it is important for your doctor to have all the facts about how you live your life
  • Before you hit the waiting room, have a game plan for your doctor's visit, especially if it's just a routine check up. Doctor appointments are now shorter than ever, only 12 minutes to be exact, so be sure to maximize your time to the best of your ability
  • If you are seeing your doctor because you have an ailment, don't skip any details. The smallest point might not seem like anything worth mentioning to you but could in actuality be a huge clue to help your doctor determine what is wrong
  • Doctor lingo is confusing, so if you don't understand what you're being told, ask questions. Don't be afraid to demand extra hand holding if you are stumped by big words and or a diagnosis
  • Never hesitate to ask for a second opinion. Doctors are under pressures from pharmaceutical and insurance companies to push certain drugs and sometimes their first impression isn't necessarily the best approach
  • With so many different forms of alternative medicine at your fingertips, make sure you explore not only standardized practices, but natural remedies

Stay healthy and be sure to be good to yourself -- you only have one body so treat it with respect!


Join The Conversation
JessNess JessNess 10 years
As someone who has worked in a doctor's office before I would agree that this is good advice. tchan- The problem with looking things up online is people tend to misdiagnose themselves all the time also not all of the info online is correct. Plus something about medical info online seems to fuel hypochondria in people. Its good to be informed but dont do the job of the doctor. Also another thing: DO NOT BRING YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY TO YOUR APPOINTMENT!!!!!! Seriously there have been sooooooo many times when we had patients come in with their spouse, their children, their children's children. Waiting rooms are only so big and there are other patients who also bring their entire family. Bring one maybe two people max with you. Specially if you know you are going to get something like test results you are going to want a second pair of ears in case you go into shock from any news. Be nice to the girls working the front desk and the ones you talk to on the phone. We are more willing to get things done for you faster if you are nice. We deal with mean people all day the last thing we need is a needy patient who is an asshole to us
tchan01 tchan01 10 years
AH...thank you DearSugar! I totally agree with you. I think it is a must to have a game plan before going in to see your doctor, especially since their game plan these days is to get you out of the room ASAP! I'd also recommend checking your symptoms on websites like, so that you're armed with as much lingo/terminology you can remember!
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