Many doctors, especially specialists, would want to spend no more than 10 minutes per consultation. I think these tips will help you achieve a meaningful conversation and exchange of information to get the best out of your doctor’s consultation.
Please fix an appointment – Do it well in advance and reconfirm. Even if our office is supposed to inform you in case of change or cancellation or delay, there is no harm in making that call. At times we may encounter emergencies or in a extremely busy schedule there may be lapse from the reception to give you a call for a delay.
Be there on time – Reach 10 minutes before the appointment time. This will give you enough time to check in and have your preliminary assessments done. Please do make an attempt to furnish as much information as is sought by the reception or one of the team doctors so your time is not wasted.
Sometimes your appointment time may not be maintained due to lots of reasons like emergencies, some consultations taking longer time than anticipated in view of complexities involved or other unforeseeable reasons. It’s always desirable to have a backup plan for your other engagements in the event of a delay in consultation.
Write out your questions – Take a few minutes to jot down key questions about your health concerns. These are easy to forget if you rely on your memory alone. Also, very often patients make list of queries that are irrelevant and in the process important issues are not addressed. Prioritization of queries will always help you get a better picture of your problem.
Be Prepared to meet the team doctor first – Sometimes you may be asked to meet one of the team doctors. There are lot of things to be put together – from your past medical history to current medications, immediate concerns, long time ailments etc. At times patients object having to be examined by one whom they consider a ‘junior’ doctor. However this can be counterproductive since seeing a team doctor contributes to better and more efficient care because minute details can be picked up which could have been missed otherwise.
Carry all your previous reports – It will help your doctor understand the tests that have been done (to avoid repeat testing) and those that need to be updated. Sometimes your previous reports are good enough to conclude the treatment plan.
Know your medicines – bring the list of the current medication you are taking. If you do not understand your medication, carry the medicine itself. This information is vital for us to treat you. It’s always wise to be educated a bit in the problems that you suffer from like thyroid disorders diabetes hypertension etc.
Be vocal about your concerns and apprehensions – Since sometimes what you think as a problem may actually be a normal phenomenon!
Avoid distractions – Remember, your doctor is dealing with your medical concerns. Utilize your time for this rather than complaining about the parking, consultation charges etc. Your feedback is extremely important, but do not waste your consultation time on this. Use feedback forms for this purpose. If you want to bring something to your doctor’s notice regarding issues other than your health concerns leave a note at the end of your consultation at the reception.