Making the Most of Your Health Care Visit
To achieve the best health, you need to be an active member of your health care team. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggest that one way is to actively participate in your visit to prepare ahead of time.
Making the Appointment
When you make your appointment, be clear about hey you need to see your health care provider.
Do you need an annual check up?
Is your visit about a new problem?
Does the office accept your insurance?
Before Your Visit
Prepare for your appointment with a few key steps before your visit.
List your questions—make a list of concerns that you’d like to discuss with your doctor.
Write down your sign and symptoms—describe your signs and symptoms to help your provider better understand your problems.
List your medications—keep a list of prescribed and over the counter drugs that you take. Include all vitamins and supplements, dosages and frequencies.
Give a complete health history—you should provide a general health history with any illnesses, injuries, hospitalizations, and surgeries. Also be sure to note a family history of disease.
Bring your past medical records—bring all medical records with you, including names and content information for all your previous health care providers.
Bring a support person—consider bringing along a friend or relative if you plan to discuss complex or serious concerns. A trusted companion can help to document and recall important information in the case that you are nervous or anxious.
During your Visit
You have a right to ask questions of anyone who is involved in your health care. Speak up if you have questions and feel free to ask for clarification on anything that you don’t understand.
Physical examination—your health care proceed should make your physical examination as comfortable as possible. Be clear about your modesty needs. Be sure to let your nurse of doctor know if there is anything that bothers or frightens you.
Talking with your health care provider—if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. Make sure you understand everything that your health care provider says. Take notes or ask a friend to accompany you to take notes. If you are given a diagnosis or treatment directive, make sure you understand all risks involved.
After your Visit
If you have received a diagnosis of a certain medical condition, learn as much as you can. There more you know about your condition, the more likely you will understand what your health care provider recommends. Make sure you have all the information you need before making a decision about treatment or medical procedures.
There are a number of resources to help you in your search for information:
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists www.ACOG.org
The US Department of Health and Human Services www.health.gov
The American Cancer Society www.cancer.org
If you are uncomfortable with the diagnosis or recommended treatment, you can get a “second opinion.” Getting another opinion can help you feel more at ease with future treatments.
Finally, the relationship between a healthcare provider and a patient is an import one. As a patina you should always play an active role in this relationship. Do not be afraid to ask questions or speak up if you have concerns.
Information provided by ACOG information booklet PF001.
Talk to you provider at The Woman’s Group if you have any questions or book an appointment today.