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How To Maximize Limited Time With Your Doctor

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When you are with a doctor, time is limited. Keep in mind that there are three goals to accomplish during your time together:

  • Help the doctor fully understand your medical situation.
  • Get answers to your questions and concerns.
  • Understand the doctor's recommendations.

Following are guidelines and tips to help accomplish those purposes. Click on the links to learn more about the subject. 

Prepare for the meeting

  • Keep track of your symptoms: what they are, how long they last, the severity, what helps, what doesn't
  • Make notes about your questions. Before going to the meeting, prioritize them in order of importance so you at least get to ask the important ones during the meeting. (We supply a prioritizer that allows you to make notes as you think of them, then prioritize them just before going to the meeting)
  • Take someone with you as a patient advocate for support, to help ask questions and to discuss what happened after the meeting.
  • Take a recorder with you (for example, in a smart phone) to record the meeting so you can review what was said later. Also take a pad and pen if case the doctor doesn't allow recordings
  • Check your insurance to be sure approrpriate steps have been taken for the meeting to be covered 
  • Check with the doctor's office before the meeting to be sure all test results and the like are received before the meeting.
  • For additional information about preparing for a medical meeting, click here.

Help the doctor fully understand your medical situation.

Get answers to your questions and concerns.

Understand the doctor's recommendations.

To be sure you understand what the doctor tells you, consider the following ideas:

Additional helpful tips

NOTE: To see techniques that can help when talking with your doctor, see Meret's Oppenheim's video: Talking With Your Doctor.


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