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Ashley PoynterJul 144 min read

Making the most of your doctor's appointment

Updated: Jul 14

Making the most of your doctor's appointment You’re all set. You’ve made an appointment to see your doctor. You have a list of questions ready to go in your head. You’re prepared. Then you get to the doctor’s office and your mind goes blank. Your list of questions goes right out the window and you find yourself struggling to get the answers you needed. Don’t worry! You’re not the only one that experiences this. We put together some helpful tips to ensure you’re prepared when it comes time to see your doctor. This list can be a handy way to get the most out of your doctor’s appointment.

Arrive early

It’s important to be punctual when visiting the doctor’s office. Sometimes schedules and unforeseen circumstances can cause delays or upend the doctor’s schedule. By arriving 15 to 20 minutes early for your appointment, you can accomplish several things. For starters, you can be sure that your own tardiness doesn’t contribute to other people’s schedules being thrown off. Secondly, you may need to fill out paperwork before your visit, especially if you're visiting this provider for the first time. Finally, you’ll always need time to check in and may also need to have a health care provider take your vitals before your appointment.

Know your family health history

Common questions that come up in a doctor’s office include information about your family’s health history, including their history with certain conditions and diseases. You want this information to be as up-to-date as possible with your current healthcare provider, including any new conditions among family members. Be sure to share that information with your doctor as it can be a critical part of predicting your own risk for disease.

Write down questions

We know you’re super sharp, but it’s probably bet to write down all your questions for your doctor anyway. Also include any concerns, symptoms, or family health updates that you want to discuss with your doctor. It can be easy to forget, especially if you think of them days or weeks before the actual appointment. Also be sure to keep a list of all your current medications, dietary supplements, and any other things that might qualify as medication. These will be helpful for your doctor to know about.

Take a breath

Relax before you head into your doctor’s office. It’s easy to get stressed about taking the time out of your day to go see a healthcare provider. It can also be stressful if you are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms and are uncertain about the cause. Take a deep breath and try to relax. Anxiety and nervousness about visiting your doctor are completely normal. Remember that your doctor is on your team and is there to help you feel better.

Keep it real

Hopefully this goes without saying, but don’t lie to your doctor. Always be honest about what’s going on and how you feel. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed to discuss your health issues with your doctor, which is also why it’s important to find someone you trust. Intentionally leaving out information from the things you communicate to your doctor can be detrimental to your health. Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to talking to your doctor.

These tips should keep you sane and productive the next time you have a doctor’s appointment. If you’re in the market for a great insurance plan that makes visiting the doctor easy as pie, consider one of Decent’s health care plans. All of our plans make it easy -- and cheap (read: free) -- to visit your primary care doctor. Get a free quote today and get connected to a provider you trust.