The doctor consultations are focused on prescribing you the correct treatment . You often have more unanswered questions than answers after every doctor consultation visit. These are some important tips to make best of your doctor consultation visit.
1. Understand your doctor before you consult.
- Area of specialization and popularity: There are super specializations with in specialties. you have back ache and you have gone to see an Orthopedician. it may be possible that he is specializing in knee transplant. Make sure you know his specialty before you consult. Best places to see the details of specialization are :1 . Doctor’s profile on doctor search sites like Practo (best) and Lybrate. Social media sites like Linked-in(best) and Twitter.
- Reviews : Doctor’s profile on doctor search sites like Practo and Lybrate has reviews about the doctor which give the idea about individual’s experience with the doctor. These review are more a reflection of how organised the doctors office is and how much attention the staff gives to individual patient. These reviews may not reflect the competence of a doctor.
- Peer reviews : Social media sites like Linked-in provide the option of endorsement of skills of the peers. It gives better idea about skills and popularity among the peer doctors.
2. Understand the facility / clinic / hospital before you go for doctor consultation.
Beside location and timing, you should also have an idea how medications will be procured and the test will be done.
In-house pharmacy and pathology/diagnostics should always be preferred as it ensures quality and availability.
3.Understand your disease before you go for doctor consultation.
On first visit
Do not search on internet to make a clinical diagnosis or identify disease before consulting the doctor. let the doctor see the patient and , at the end of the consultation, ask him to make you understand the disease ( diagnosed or suspected) in layman terms and and ask you doctor to write the scientific name of the disease in prescription. If you have visited a doctor for fever, you should know whether you have ” dengue” or “fever of unknown origin” . Later means you could have any one of many conditions which can cause fever. After the visit , you can search internet to understand your condition.
You should ask your doctor to advise you about the source from where you should search about your condition. Many doctors have patient information literature available in their offices.
On subsequent visits
you should have idea about
1. How the disease is investigated.
2. What are usual treatment options available for disease/ medical condition.
3. What is usual outcome of disease.
4. Natural course of disease
5. Terminologies and technical terms used by doctor.
Doctors and other health staffs will be naturally more communicative if you can understand their terminologies and language and have some idea about your medical condition.
4. organise your medical records before doctor consultation.
It can not be emphasized enough.
- keep your medical records organised in a chronological order.
- Retain the older prescriptions of previous doctors.
- Save test and investigation report after treatment is over.
- Scan and save them digitally. Mobile camera is good enough for the job.
- Keep a record of your vital parameters like blood group, weight, blood pressure, blood glucose, vision in mobile phone.
5. Keep your questions ready
Always go prepared with the issues you want to discuss with the doctor. Most of the successful doctors are busy, and you might not get time to think about the different issues , in his clinic.
If doctor could not answer all your question , he/she will delegate some one in support staff to clarify your doubts.
5. Provide complete information to doctor during consultations.
Beside previous medical records, provide the doctor accurate information regarding
- Onset of complains and course.
- Medication taken, medications missed, self medication. ( which doctor will makes out anyways)
- Addictions, sexual encounters etc.
6. During the consultation doctor.
- If you are not satisfied consultation or treatment, feel free to discuss with doctor.
- If you want to have a second opinion, discuss it with with your doctor, he/she can suggest you a competent doctor for that.
- Avoid making negative remarks about any other doctor.
- If you find the treatment expensive or inconvenient , discuss with your doctor, he can suggest you the way out.
7. Check out list before you leave the doctor office after consultation.
You know before you leave the doctor
- Disease you are suffering or the doctor is suspecting you to have.
- What are the test ordered and how would they help in your treatment.
- medications and schedule to have them.
- Possible complications of treatment.
- When you have to come again.
- Things to monitor while on treatment.
- Sources for extra information about your condition.
- Contact person and contact number for any further quarries.
Please comment on the facts, you think should also be added in this list. Share , if you find it interesting.