At some point, you’ve been battling with sickness or trying to prevent it. In between the endless wait, sitting with a magazine on hand, and a queue of strangers sneezing and coughing next to you, a thoughtful preparation will facilitate a smooth doctor’s visit.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for your next appointment:
Make a list. Do your homework before you get to the office. Write down your priorities and prepare a list of questions regarding your health condition. This will help you stay focused and maximize the minutes of your visit.
Bring your insurance card. If you are a new patient, don’t forget to bring your insurance card and your copay if you have one. If you are visiting the same clinic, it is best to present an updated copy of your current insurance card.
Carefully pick the day and time of your visit. It’s also important to show up early for your appointment.
Prepare to share. Bring all your medical records and lab results and share them with your new doctor. Let him know if you have been treated in the emergency room or by a specialist in the past, symptoms you have noticed, and any medications you are taking.
Ask questions. If your doctor says something you don’t understand, ask questions. At the end of your visit, you should be able to understand your health issues, medication dosage and side effects, treatment options, and what you can do to stay healthy.
Ask about insurance coverage. Find out if a certain lab work or a given treatment is covered by your health plan. If you are being referred to a specialist, make sure he is also in your network. If not, check with your doctor’s office to know the costs associated with a provider out of the network.
Working with a reliable doctor can help you understand your health and lifestyle and make necessary improvements. This will ensure you are receiving the best possible care.