Visiting a Family Doctor: How to Make the Most Out of Your Appointment

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If you have made an appointment with your family doctor, you want to decide in advance what you want to get out of your visit. This can help organize your thoughts and determine how the appointment will go. You want to help your doctor have a better understanding of your medical history or get answers to certain questions. Whether it is your first time seeing a doctor, you visit them for a regular checkup, or for a certain medical issue, you must inform them about your medical history. Family doctors, like the doctors at Treasure Valley Family Medicine, want to help you maximize your appointment and your family’s appointments. To make the most out of your appointment, here are tips to consider:

Inform Your Doctor About Your Concerns or Symptoms

Whenever you book an appointment with your family doctor, tell them the symptoms or concerns you may have upfront. This way, they can schedule the right kind of appointment and the amount of time they should spend with you. 

In addition, make sure you know your medical history. Depending on whether it is a first-time or ongoing appointment, ensure your medical history has up-to-date records. If you are a first-time patient of this doctor, you may be asked to come early, so you can fill out forms for new patients. You will have to fill out a health questionnaire and a medical release form. If applicable, consider bringing a list or test results of medications you are taking.

Prepare a list of questions you would want to ask and rank them by priority. This ensures you can have the most pressing concerns addressed. By writing down questions beforehand, you may be able to focus more and get your questions answered. 

Take Part in the Discussion During Your Visit

Your well-being relies on how you feel about sharing your concerns and thoughts regarding your health. To ensure a successful visit to a family doctor, you should not be embarrassed by whatever your doctor asks you about. Certain symptoms such as sexual dysfunction, hemorrhoids, or addictions are hard to discuss; however, a great doctor will put you at ease. Your doctor needs you to be honest and direct, so they can get the necessary information to give you the right treatment. If you are suffering from a complicated medical problem and would love to have an appointment buddy with you during your visit, you should do so. This person might be able to ask questions and provide you with the support you need. Consider asking your buddy to take notes for you.

If treatment is necessary, your family doctor will explain what this treatment will do for your medical issue, when you can expect it to work, its side effects, and potential interactions with your current medications. Should you need a test, your family doctor will inform you about how it can help in identifying the issue, its accuracy and dependability, how you must prepare for the test, as well as how and when to get the results. 

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