Making the Most of your doctor visit

Making the Most of Your Doctor Visit

Pro Tips for your Visit

For many of us, visiting the doctor feels intimidating or like a chore. Have you ever stopped to wonder why?
 
Discomfort in the doctor’s office can be caused by many things, aside from the health issues you’re experiencing. You may feel intimidated, misunderstood, or like you can’t understand a word your provider is saying. Below are some tips to help you communicate with your primary care provider (PCP) so you can get the help you deserve.

In your first appointment with a PCP, pay attention to how they speak to you and their body language. Are they trying to rush you, or taking time to explain and answer your questions? Are they showing that they’re listening to what you have to say? If the provider raises red flags with how they communicate, keep looking for another provider.

    • PRO TIP: Providers are people, too. Everyone has a bad day. If you feel like a provider is brushing you off, consider communicating your expectations to your provider honestly (if you want to ask questions, need detailed explanations, etc.) See if they’re willing to adjust their style. It may feel intimidating, but remember that being honest with your potential provider will help everyone in the long run.

Prepare questions in advance. If you have an appointment for a specific health issue, ask questions until you understand what the health issue is. Think about the future of the health issue – how will it affect other conditions you may have? Does your provider expect it to improve or worsen with age?

    • PRO TIP: If you are easily overwhelmed in doctor appointments, bring someone you trust to be your advocate, and discuss your hopes for the appointment with them in advance of the visit.

Evaluate how you are feeling after your appointment. familydoctor.org recommends asking yourself the following questions:

  • Were the office staff friendly?
  • Was I comfortable with the doctor?
  • Did the doctor answer all of my questions?
  • Did the doctor show interest in getting to know me?
  • Did the doctor explain things so that I understood?
  • Will the doctor be able to treat my family and me?
  • Was the doctor patient with me?
    • PRO TIP: If you enjoyed anything about the experience, say thank you and send a thank you note. Everyone wants a great relationship with the best primary care practice for them, but remember that relationships take mutual intent, effort, and time. Your doctor will appreciate and remember you!
Remember, your provider will play an important role in your healthcare journey. Make sure that you leave the doctor’s office feeling heard and knowing more than when you walked in.
 
For helpful tips with choosing a provider, click here.
 
If you would like to learn more about the IntraCare network and our physicians, click here.
Value-Based Care
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