Four Tips to Make a Visit With Your Doctor More Productive


A visit to the doctor can be frustrating under the best of circumstances, doubly so if you are being seen for a major illness. Here are a few tips to ensure that your visit to your physician runs smoothly.

  1. Timing Matters

It is a good idea to book your appointment early in the morning, if possible. While most physicians strive to be on time, emergencies can happen, and your doctor may fall behind schedule as the day progresses. By booking early, you stand a better chance of avoiding the rush and of being seen on time.

  1. Be Prompt

Arrive fifteen to twenty minutes before your scheduled appointment time. Depending on the nature of your visit, check in and registration may take a little extra time. Some offices factor this into their scheduling process. Most do not. Arriving early allows the assistant to gather the necessary information to check you in properly.

  1. Be Prepared

Keep in mind that the typical office visit with a primary care provider lasts about fifteen to thirty minutes. To get the most out of your time, bring a written list of any current concerns you’d like to discuss. Go through the list with your doctor to make sure that all issues are addressed to your satisfaction.  Listen carefully and write down any special instructions your doctor may have for you.

Make certain you have all of your prescriptions, lab orders before leaving the office.  This will prevent you from having to make a return trip to pick up missing paperwork later.

  1. Follow Up

Finally, stop by the front desk to make any future appointments. By scheduling immediately, you ensure that your next visit is at a date and time most convenient for you.

If you follow these simple steps, the next visit with your physician is sure to be a productive, stress-free experience.

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Photo Credit: National Cancer Institute