5 Things You Can Do to Make the Most of Your Appointment
Feeling like you're being rushed out the door during a doctor's appointment is not a great feeling, and unfortunately, it happens a lot more than you think. Before scheduling your next appointment, consider these five things that you can do to make the most of your time.
1. Come Prepared
If you've been to a specific doctor more than once and know that they often shorten your appointments, come prepared with a list of your medications, allergies, any changes, and a concise list of what to discuss. This also helps if you are visiting a new medical office for the first time.
Being prepared for your appointment may also help you avoid veering off-topic or giving long-winded explanations for current health issues. It may also serve you well if you begin the appointment by saying, "I have a couple of things I'd like to discuss with you today," so your doctor will know that they may need to spend a couple of extra minutes with you.
2. Ask Questions
A doctor's main priority is ultimately getting your health in the best place it can be. If they aren't spending a significant amount of time with you in your appointment, that may just be a sign that you haven't shown any concerning signs or symptoms. However, if you want to know a few specific things, don't hesitate to ask those questions.
3. Be Respectful of Each Other’s Time
You likely don't want to spend hours in the doctor's office, and your doctor is probably handling multiple patients at once. Even if it feels like your appointment is going by significantly quicker than usual, be open to having a conversation with your doctor about that. You'd be surprised how effective a simple "Would you mind taking a couple of extra minutes?" can be. Ultimately, ensure you are being respectful of each other's time.
4. Book a Follow-Up Appointment
If you still feel like there are pressing matters you need to discuss with your doctor, consider booking a follow-up appointment for a time soon after your initial one. While this may be a last resort option, since you will have to pay for two separate appointments, it may provide you with the peace of mind you are seeking.
Furthermore, a follow-up appointment may be useful in seeing if your symptoms worsen over time. If you brought up a concern to your doctor but they didn't react in the way you hoped, this may be your best option in the long-term. Before doing so, however, you may want to speak with the receptionist to get an idea of how much it may cost you and decide from there.
5. Ask to Speak with a Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner
At almost every doctor's office you could schedule with, you will more than likely spend the first half of your appointment speaking with a nurse practitioner or physician assistant. This is the time in your appointment to bring up every concern you may have, including which medications are working or not, so that these can be recorded for the doctor before they even enter the room.
If you felt rushed during your appointment and still feel like you need more time, consider speaking with another staff member in the office, as they might be able to answer certain questions you may have.
Portland Medical Malpractice Attorneys
While feeling rushed at the doctor's office doesn't automatically equal medical malpractice, you may feel your health concerns are not being taken seriously or find that the doctor has misdiagnosed you due to inattention. Depending on the circumstances, you may have grounds for a claim.