What To Do After An Appointment With A Doctor
Think back over what was said during the appointment. If you didn't ask all your questions, call the doctor. If the doctor prefers, set another appointment.
- The discussion about your condition.
- Your overall health.
- Anything you agreed to do. For instance, the drugs you agreed to take, exercise you agreed to do, and nutrition habits you agreed to change. Also think about what you agreed not to do.
- Were all your questions and concerns addressed?
- Was your doctor thorough?
- Did your doctor listen to you?
- Is there anything about the relationship you want to change?
- If you have questions, or aren't sure about the doctor's instructions, call or e-mail the doctor's office. Possibly a nurse or other staff member can answer your question. If not, he or she can check with the doctor and get back to you. (If you do call or send an e-mail, see How To Work The System).
Update all your doctors about what went on if there were changes in your condition or if any drug changes were made.
- When you have more than one doctor: after each appointment, summarize what happened during the appointment.
- Fax or e mail a copy of the summary to each of your doctors. This keeps them to date. It also gives them an opportunity to weigh in if they see a problem. For example, Ron M. had two serious health conditions, each of which was treated by a different specialist. When one specialist changed Ron's drugs, the other specialist wasn't informed. While the new drugs were compatible with the ones Ron was taking under the other specialist's direction, they worked against what the doctor was trying to accomplish. Ron ended up in the hospital -- a stay that could have been avoided if he'd kept all the doctors up to date with every change.
- A method for keeping your doctors to date is located in A System for Keeping Your Doctors To Date.
Get and review test results. Do not rely on the doctor or his or her staff to call with the results. Make a note in your calender for the date the results should be back. If you do not hear from the doctor or his/her staff, initiate the contact yourself.
If you owe money to your doctor, pay it off over time instead of charging it. It's better to ask the doctor to allow you to pay what you owe in small monthly installments then to put the bill on your credit card. Credit cards have very high rates of interest. Debt on a credit card also means you're able to charge that much less on your credit card if you need to.