Making the most out of your health appointment
How many times have you come out of your doctor’s office and not only forgotten a lot of what was said, but also forgotten to ask:
- what you went there for
- about general health issues or risks
- the ‘tricky’ questions
To help you make the most out of your appointment here are some handy hints and a check list of things you may want to talk about.
Talking… handy hints
When you book an appointment, let the receptionist know if you have several issues to discuss as you may need a longer appointment. Be clear about what you want out of the appointment and stick to the key issues.
Bring relevant information
Things to take with you include a list of questions you would like to ask, any relevant documentation, family history and current medication.
Writing down key points can help you to remember what was said.
Bring someone with you
Bringing a friend or family member can be helpful, especially if you are talking about health concerns or test results.
Ask questions in order of priority and relevance. You may not be able to get answers to everything you want to know in one consultation. Don’t be afraid to ask tricky or sensitive questions regarding your health. Your health practitioner is there to help you, and it is unlikely that anything you say will surprise them.
Finding the right health practitioner is all about two way communication and forming a health partnership. Ask yourself
- Is your health practitioner easy to talk to?
- Does your health practitioner listen to you?
- Are you comfortable talking about sensitive issues?
The following checklists will help you think about any health issues or health checks that may be relevant to you at this particular time.
Whilst you may have several concerns, each one of the issues identified in the list below is likely to need a separate consultation. Keep in mind that covering these issues properly will take time. It’s important to prioritise your issues in order of importance. You may need several appointments.
Do I need to talk about my …
- Bladder and bowel
- Contraceptive options
- Drugs, alcohol and / or smoking
- Family’s medical history
- Gut and digestion
- Libido (sex drive)
- Medications, including vitamins and / or supplements
- Menopause and / or menopause therapies
- Pelvic floor muscles
- Periods and / or premenstrual stress (PMS)
- Physical activity
- Relationships with family and friends
- Risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis &/or arthritis
- Safer sex
- Stress and anxiety
This information was supplied by Jean Hailes for Women’s Health.