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Visiting the Doctor: A Checklist for Check-up

It would be a medical miracle if doctors could sit down with every patient, learning all about their personal and family medical histories, asking the sincere and relationship-building questions such as: What are you looking for in a doctor? Are you comfortable talking about your medical history? Why did you leave and/or never visit your last doctor? The truth: Patients are too plentiful, time is too tight and doctors must work efficiently, effectively and quickly.

So, unless you’re a part of the ultra-rich with personal on-call physicians (it’s nice to dream), you have to make the most of each doctor’s visit by being prepared, knowing what to expect and following-up like your health depends on it…because it does.

Before You Visit the Doctor
It's important to think about how you feel and make sure you can explain your main concerns prior to the visit. You should be able to describe your symptoms, including when you first experienced them. If you don't think you can talk about your symptoms or describe them well, write them down or bring a trusted friend or family member to help you express yourself and to provide support.

Here are few things you can expect your doctor to ask, be prepared for your appointment by being able to answer. You should:

  • Know the names of all the medications, herbal supplements and vitamins you're currently taking.
  • Be specific about your family’s medical history, including any history of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and/or other diseases.
  • Explain any past and/or present medical conditions, symptoms and or surgeries.
  • Give details about any recent emergency room visits – when, where, why and how you followed-up this visit with your regular health care provider, if at all.
  • Share the names, addresses and phone numbers of past and present doctors.
  • Give the details of any allergies and/or allergic reactions you’ve had to medicines, vaccines, the environment, including asthma, eczema and etc.
  • Tell of any alcohol, tobacco and or non-medical drug use.
  • Provide your insurance information.
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Before you make your visit you have to be absolutely clear about your reason for visiting the doctor. When I visit mine I make a list of questions that I intend to ask him, on my last visit I asked him about nascent iodine UK.

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