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  • National Doctors Day: Making the most of your appointments
    Added by My Identity Doctor
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    Today is National Doctors Day. Those of us living with chronic illness know how important the role of our doctors is to our health. Sometimes, though, just like chronic disease itself, it can be difficult to know how to prepare for a doctor’s appointment—when there is only so much time to tackle all of the questions you may have, and things that you may need clarification about. In the 8 years I’ve been dealing with asthma and other health related nonsense, here are some tips that I have picked up to make my doctor’s appointments easier.
    • Go with a list, but not too long. 3 to 5 bullet points, maximum, and make sure you prioritize them in order of importance. Some people recommend taking a copy for yourself and a copy for your doctor. Sometimes it may be necessary to schedule another appointment to make sure. Writing down certain details about symptoms or patterns you have noticed may also be important for your doctor to know—and hard for you to remember.
    • Do your research. If you have a diagnosis of a chronic disease, learn what you can about it online. This way your doctor does not have to spend time explaining the basics, and can spend more time personalizing that information to you.
    • Know what you need to do ahead of time. Do you need to go for a blood test that requires you to fast, or have the results of a test from another doctor? Being organized can help to make the most of your time—and your doctor’s. Know as well when you will see other doctors you see, or what their latest report was in case your doctor does not have it.
    • Take someone with you. If you have trouble remembering the 180 things your doctor might say, or simply need to make some progress happen with your healthcare, taking a friend or family member with you can help.
    • Understand what you might or might not be able to afford. If you know some things about your insurance plan, such as specific medications or supplies that are or are not covered for your condition, this can help to avoid more work later for both you and the doctor.
    • Prepare to wait. Bring a book or magazine (the ones in doctor’s offices are often covered in germs), or a portable charger for your cell phone so you can stay connected while waiting. If you have kids, bring them toys and snacks, and hand/face wipes.
    • Be patient. Remember, your doctor is as frustrated with the fact that you have to wait as they are—the longer you wait, the longer it takes at the end of the day for them to get to go home. Even if you’ve just waited for an hour, keep in mind that they are just doing their job, and that you’d want them to spend extra time with you if you needed it, too.
    Remember, your doctor is there to help you, but they can give you their best if you come prepared, patient, and ready to put the work in, too. Unfortunately, patients don’t get paid, but hopefully the work you put in shows positive results for your health!
    And remember, if you haven’t already, ask your doctor about wearing a medical ID bracelet or necklace, and what they recommend you engrave!
    Published by My Identity Doctor on March 30, 2017


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