Three things neatly intersected to compel me to write this blog post:
- Reading How Doctor’s Think by Jerome Groopman which I strongly urge every patient to read and then send copies to all your physicians to create the most productive healthcare partnerships.
- Time spent with the leadership of the American College of Physicians Foundation. The ACP is a founding member of the Patient-Centered Medical Home initiative and is very thoughtful about how physician practices can better serve patient needs and improve outcomes.
- Preparing to be interviewed for the Chaos Solutions Blog Talk Radio show, my 1st foray into this medium. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/chaossolutions
Far from being a nerve-wracking event I believe that visits to the doctor’s office can be an empowering experience and an essential step to living the fullest, healthiest life possible.
My recommendations involve the 3 O’s – Observe, Organize, and Obtain.
- Observe yourself for at least a week (women perhaps a month or whole menstrual cycle) before your visit.
- What are you eating and how is your body reacting?
- How are you sleeping?
- Do you get out of breathe going up the stairs?
- Do you have swelling or other body changes?
These are all important to note and bring into the conversation with your doctor.
2. Organize, Organize, Organize
- Bring a list of all your medications, with names (brand and generic) dosages. Include vitamins, supplements, and herbs.
- Bring a list of all your doctors and complementary medicine specialists as well
- Bring a full medical history (don’t rely on your memory for what year for which surgery and the results)
- Bring a family medical history
- Create a list of your key questions and concerns
- DO NOT LEAVE without instructions and prescriptions for any new medications
- DO NOT LEAVE without test slips, referral forms, and directions ( fasting, other prep)
- DO NOT LEAVE without a nurse or other number to call if you have questions
Become an engaged, empowered patient and make the most of your doctor’s visits!