When you’re younger, you may not need to go to the doctor very often, but how often you visit will change drastically as you age. When you may have only visited the doctor once every year or two in your 20’s, you may feel like you’ve got a new appointment every month once you reach your 60’s and 70’s. It’s enough to make you want to cancel your appointments just so you don’t have to deal with it anymore!
It’s normal to not want to go to the doctor, but you should really make and keep those appointments. They don’t have to be endlessly irritating either! Make sure your visits are as pleasant as possible with the following tips.
Do Your Research When Choosing Care Providers
It can be tempting to see whoever is available just to get your appointments over with, but you’ll be much happier in the long run if you take the time to choose the doctors who are right for you.
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a care provider. You should definitely look for one that is focused on the patient experience, which means they take the time to answer your questions, but it also means looking for doctors who focus on ACOs care management to keep costs low, as well as who takes your insurance, who is close to your home, who uses care collaboration software and who is going to be available to provide long-term care, as PatientPing states.
Make Sure You’re Prepared for Your Appointments
Don’t assume that just because you’re going to an appointment that all of your problems will be solved because that’s your doctor’s job. In order for your doctor to do their job well, you have to make sure you’re prepared for your appointments.
Before you leave home for your appointment, make a list of questions that you want to ask. Questions that doctors recommend you ask at your next appointment include:
- What preventative care appointments should I make?
- How does my family history impact my risk of developing certain medical conditions?
- Why are you prescribing this specific medication?
- How do you recommend that I take care of my personal wellness?
- How many patients with my condition have you treated?
Knowing all of this can have doctors be much more efficient and accurate in their estimation of what to do. This is especially important if you have a new doctor who is not familiar with your disease history. You are the person who knows best how your body behaves and reacts to certain medication, so being ready for the appointment is crucial.
Consider Bringing an Advocate With You
Going to medical appointments can be stressful, especially if you find yourself in waiting rooms frequently. It’s easy to freeze up and focus on getting in and out of the office as quickly as possible, but that means you won’t leave feeling like your questions and concerns were addressed.
If you have trouble feeling at ease in the doctor’s office, consider bringing a healthcare advocate with you. A healthcare advocate could simply be a friend or family member, or they can be someone you hire to help you manage your healthcare. They can help you voice concerns with your doctor, provide you with transportation to the doctor’s office, and help you file important paperwork associated with your care.
This can be quite helpful and time-efficient for you, your doctor and everyone else in the waiting room. You will finish with your paperwork more quickly and proceed to the checkup if that is necessary.
Take Time to Reflect on Your Appointment
It’s easy to move on and get back to your normal life as quickly as possible after your appointment, but you should really take the time to reflect on your time in the doctor’s office.
It’s normal for doctors to rush, but you shouldn’t just accept their behavior and schedule your next appointment if it makes you feel uncomfortable. By spending just a few minutes thinking or talking about your appointment with someone else, you may realize that you couldn’t get your questions answered, the doctor spent your entire appointment staring at his computer screen, or you left not feeling like your doctor really cares.
If this happens, you can always phone the medical staff and explain your situation and they will surely help you out. This can happen once because doctor might have had something else on his/her mind. But if this happens repetedly and you are positive that you didn’t receive proper care, you should change your doctor…which brings us to our last point.
Don’t Be Afraid to Look for a Different Doctor
If after reflecting on your appointment you realize that you are unhappy with your healthcare provider, don’t be afraid to look for a different doctor.
It’s surprisingly common for people to worry that their doctor will feel betrayed if they get another opinion or offended if they go to another doctor, but your care is what matters most. Don’t be afraid to seek out doctors that can provide you with the kind of care you deserve.
The older you get, the more likely you are to have to deal with doctors. That doesn’t mean your interactions have to be unpleasant! Take control of your healthcare with these tips and you will get the most out of every visit to the doctor’s office.
Hopefully, these 5 pieces of advice will help you in your communication with the doctors and the medical staff as well. While doctors do wish us the best and their job is to work to improve people’s lives, they can sometimes be overburdened or some simply don’t care as much.
With that in mind, you should always know what to do and when it is time to change your doctor. Keeping yourself in check is crucial and so is being aware of your own condition.