Maximizing Your Doctor’s Visit

Maximizing Your Doctor's Visit

Going to the doctor can be stressful, especially when you are worried about your health. Visits with a doctor are short, and they have a lot of patients they see every day. That means you can fall through the cracks if you don’t take charge of your appointment. From losing weight to dealing with a significant medical issue, here are some ways you can better prepare for your appointment and get the medical help you need. 

Write it Down

You have a reason for coming to the doctor’s office. Take some time before you go and write down the problems you are having. List any symptoms you have as well as any solutions that have already been tried. Along with the type of symptom, you will want to write down severity and frequency. You may even want to track this for a while before you go to the doctor’s, so you know the information is accurate. It would help if you also wrote down any questions you have for the doctor or relevant family history that might help with a diagnosis. Anything you think the doctor may need to know, or something you want to understand better, should be included on this list that you bring to your appointment. 

Past Records

You should get a copy of your past medical records from any other doctors, specialists, or hospitals that you have been to before. Keep a copy for your own records, but send one copy to the doctor’s office before you go. This will make sure that your doctor has access to your medical history before the appointment and during the appointment. If you think any of the records are especially relevant to your current problem, then you should bring your copy to the appointment in case the doctor did not have time to look over it beforehand. It is always good to be over-prepared rather than underprepared. 

Bring Someone 

If you are feeling exceptionally nervous, you might also consider bringing someone to the appointment with you like a family member or close friend. This person should already be aware of the reason for your doctor’s visit. It would be best if you also were upfront about what you want their role to be at the appointment. Do you want them there for moral support? Do you want them to help you remember to ask about something? Whatever you want from them, be sure they know how best to support you. 

Request Accommodations 

If you need any accommodations at your appointment, make sure to call ahead and arrange for these before you go. This will take a lot of stress out of your appointment. If you need a language translator or accommodations for hearing or vision loss, most doctor’s offices will be able to help you with those. 


It is also essential that your doctor has a current list of all medications you are on and why you are taking them as well as the dosages. You can compile all of these on a list to bring with you, but if you don’t have too many, it might be best to bring the medications themselves. This way, you will have all the information on the bottle, and you won’t forget to include something the doctor needs to know. 

Come Early

You will likely have to fill out some paperwork before you see the doctor. It would help if you came early to your appointment, so you have time to do so. It is also good to add in some extra travel time just in case there is unexpected traffic, or you get lost on your way there. Making sure you get there early will mean that you aren’t rushing and don’t add any extra stress to your day. 

Clear Your Schedule

It is impossible to know if the doctor will be running behind schedule or not. That depends on the appointments he or she had before yours and if any emergencies needed immediate attention. If you have other obligations right after your appointment, you might miss them. It would be best if you cleared your schedule for the day to make sure you have the time needed at the doctor’s office. If you are unable to clear your schedule, then the best time to make appointments is at the very beginning of the day or directly after the lunch break. Appointments made at these times are more likely to be on time. 

Online Help

If you are still really nervous about visiting a doctor’s office, then you can always try getting a consultation from a doctor online from the comfort of your own home. Click here to get some more information and see if this is a good option for you.


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