A Good Doctor Appointment Begins with a Good Phone Call

Setting yourself up for a productive and satisfying appointment begins with the phone call you make to schedule it.

Assuming it is not an emergency, in which case you should be dialing 911 instead of your doctor, take a few minutes to gather your thoughts before you pickup the phone. Consider the following:

1) Urgency: Do I need to be seen today, sometime in the next few days, or sometime in the next few weeks? How urgent is this? If this problem can wait a few days or even a week, convey that information to the scheduler or nurse. By establishing a precedent of self-awareness, you gain credibility with your doctor's office. This credibility can come in handy when you have a more urgent problem that requires a same-day appointment.

2) Preparing the story: Think of your illness or problem as a news story and you are the reporter. You should be prepared to tell a compelling version of the facts, source mesmerenterprizes.com/slimquick-pure-reviews.html. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

What is the simplest way to describe your problem?
When did it start?
Have you tried to treat it?
Is there anything that makes it better or worse?
How has this problem limited you?

3) Honesty over modesty: Society has taught us to avoid graphic, upsetting, or otherwise uncivilized words. In doctor's offices, however, there's not a day that goes by without a conversation on diarrhea, vomit, fungus, warts, discharge, or other similar problems. The medical world is different, and when you call in to describe your problem, it pays to be specific. "Six days of bloody, explosive diarrhea?? is very different from "frequent trips to the bathroom.??

Along these same lines, if you need to be seen for a suspicious bump in your groin, make the appointment accordingly. Every doctor has experienced a visit where the patient comes in for a cough (or something equally inconspicuous), and as the visit winds down, the patient divulges that he or she is actually in the office for concerns of sexually transmitted infections. The person most harmed by this minor misdirection is you, the patient. By giving your doctor the true reason for your visit in advance, you allow her time to prepare for a more complete and satisfying visit. I understand that genital lesions or panic attacks may feel like embarrassing or stigmatizing conditions to you, but these sensitive topics are just business as usual for your doctor and her support staff.

The truth is that doctor's offices are smaller than you think. Doctors talk about patients with their schedulers and nurses regularly throughout the day. These support staff can be strong advocates for you as a patient. The better a doctor's scheduler gets to know you as a patient, the better he or she can prepare your doctor for the appointment, and the better your appointment will be.