you’ve found a provider, or if you already have a provider,
you’ll need to develop an open and trusting relationship. You
do so by talking to your provider in a direct and honest way. Your
provider can only help you when he or she knows what’s going
on with you and your body. Follow these tips during your provider’s
appointment to get the most out of your visit
- Even if you are uncomfortable, or embarrassed about
something, you should tell your provider about it if you think
to your health. For example, if your provider told you not to
smoke because of a medication you’re on, but you smoked
anyway and you feel sick, tell your provider that you smoked.
isn’t going to reprimand you or get angry, he or she will
only provide sound advice (that you should listen to!).
your provider about all of the medications you take, including
any alternative medicines and treatments.
- Talk candidly about
your history. Before you go to the provider, make sure you are up to date on
the medical information in your
family. Then, talk to your provider about these and other aspects of your
- Ask questions. If you are unsure about anything,
be afraid to ask. Sometimes your provider won’t realize
that you are confused. And, just because your provider went to
doesn’t mean that she learned how to read minds. So, if
you are confused or have a question about your health, speak
- In order to remember all of the questions you have for the
provider, make a list before your appointment. It’s frustrating
when you know you have a question to ask, but you don’t
remember it until after your provider is gone. Just like a grocery
a list of questions for the provider will be a helpful reminder.
notes at the provider. Sometimes, your provider will give you
a lot of information. It’s difficult to recall all
of this information later on, when you need it. That’s
why you might want to bring a notepad and a pen to jot down any
while the provider is advising you. Many times patients who know
provider will be giving them a lot of important information will
bring a tape recorder to their office visit. If you decide that
a tape recorder is the best option for you, remember to ask your
for permission first.
- Don’t feel rushed. You spent all of
that time in the waiting room, and then you waited some more
in the exam room! So, you
deserve every bit of time you have with the provider. Don’t
feel pressure to speak fast, and don’t avoid asking questions
to save time. Make the most out of the minutes you have with
the provider and don’t
feel rushed. Make appointments on days when you know you don’t
have pressing schedule conflicts so that you won’t feel
stressed if your provider’s visit runs over an hour or
- Ask your provider for additional information. If your provider
tells you that you have a specific condition, inquire about it.
offices will have brochures, pamphlets, and even videos, about
various conditions. For example, if you have high blood pressure,
will be able to provide you with a brochure that discusses diet
options and lifestyle changes that will help you control your
- Listen to your provider. If your provider tells
you to arrange special tests outside of the office, at a lab,
then arrange for those
tests immediately. If your provider tells you to see a specialist, ask
for a reference (if you need one), and make an appointment. If
your provider prescribes a medication, bring the prescription to your
pharmacy and take the medicine as directed. Your provider’s
advice is based on years of training, education and experience.
Most of the time, this is the kind of advice you are going to
heed. If you don’t trust your provider, you should probably
find a provider that you do trust.
Click below to read about related topics.
How to Choose
Talking to Your Provider
Getting a Second
Types of Providers