Below are some top tips for when you visit your doctor:
Before the appointment:
- Write down your two or three most important questions.
- Write down the details of your symptoms, including when they started and what makes them better or worse.
- If you are taking any ‘over the counter’ medicines or supplements that the doctor has not prescribed, make sure that you take a list of them, so that the doctor knows what you are taking.
During the appointment:
- Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t understand.
- If you aren’t sure about one or more of the words about your condition or treatment, ask for them to be written down.
- Write things down in a notebook. This makes it easier to remember afterwards what the doctor or nurse told you.
Before you leave the appointment make sure you:
- Check that you’ve understood what was said. Ask the doctor/Nurse to explain again if you aren’t sure.
- Check that you’ve understood what treatment (if any) is being recommended for you and how it will happen e.g. will it be an outpatient appointment at the hospital, or do you need blood tests, or have you been given some medication. If the doctor has prescribed some medicine for you, do you understand how you should take it and when it should be started/finished?
- Is there anything that you should stop or start doing that is making your condition worse?
- Is there anything that you can do to help yourself?
- What happens next? (e.g. do you need to make another appointment?)