Doctor's Appointment: 5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Visit

Dr. Brad Brown
October 14, 2022
5 min read

Going to the doctor for a check-up can be an overwhelming task. And when we’re under the weather, a lot of us would rather stay in bed, binge-watching a whole season of something on Netflix, hoping we get better soon. We know this isn’t the best route to take and can often make things worse.

Here are some tips to make seeing your primary care doctor a little less nerve-racking.

Tip #1: Don’t put off your check-ups. 

We’ve all done it. Putting off important tasks because at the moment everything seems fine. Our brains have a great way of lying to us, don’t they? However, regular check-ups with your primary care physician are a must to stay ahead of your health. And when you are sick, it makes it a lot easier to see a doctor that you’ve built a relationship with instead of a doctor you don’t know. 

Seeing a primary care physician regularly is crucial to staying healthy. Routine labs and blood work may show something to indicate an unsuspecting underlying health issue, and also give you peace of mind when the results come back great. 

Tip #2: Create a list.

Before you see your doctor, create a list of your concerns and prioritize them. Without a list, it’s easy to get lost in conversation and forget an issue that you wanted to address. Keeping a list with you will ensure that you address exactly what you need. 

Another reason for a prioritized list is making sure you address the most important issues first. When you see your doctor, you're given a certain amount of time for your appointment. During a standard appointment, your doctor can only review two, maybe three of the concerns on your list. Start with the issues that bother you the most and continue to make appointments for the following issues. 

Tip #3: Tell your doctor the truth. 

We all know this, but a lot of us still fib when seeing the doctor. Being honest with your doctor is critical to getting ahead of problems. Your doctor treats your care based on the answers you give, so lying is not in your best interest. 

Remember, your doctor is not there to judge you. They see patients every day and have heard it all. Their main goal is to make sure you’re healthy and stay healthy. 

Tip #4: Don’t be scared to clarify.

If there’s one person to not “yes” even though you don’t understand, it's your physician. The typical doctor visit lasts about 15-20 minutes. If you're overwhelmed about your visit and already asked a few questions, it’s easy to not want to ask for clarification on something you don’t understand. I assure you; your doctor wants you to ask for clarification for anything you might be confused about. Understanding your doctor is crucial for your health care. 

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Dr. Brad Brown
October 14, 2022

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