How To Prepare For Each Doctor Visit

by Kim Keller

If your situation is anything like ours was, after the doctor left the room we often wished we had asked a certain important question, or we were still confused about some aspect of the situation, and when our dad was in the hospital, we had basically no idea when we would see that doctor again.

Many things can come into play when meeting with a doctor – you may feel rushed, intimidated, scared or get easily sidetracked.  This is why it helps to be prepared for the doctor’s visit.  This seems simple, we know, but this is how to do it:

Discuss with your parents all the issues that need attention.  Talk through symptoms, concerns and questions.  Keep a running list so that you are prepared for the doctor’s visit.  It also helps to have answers ready for all the obvious questions the doctor might ask.  Consider:

  • What kind of symptoms do they have?
  • What kind of pain are they feeling?
  • When did the pain start?
  • How often and under what circumstances do they feel it?

And keep a list of questions and medications.  Doctors are busy, and patients are often reluctant to slow them down in any way, even if it’s just to ask for an explanation, something that patients are certainly entitled to.  Let your parents know it’s their right to be listened to and to be informed about the care they’re receiving.

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