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Tips to guide your next doctor's appointment

Hoping to get the most that you can out of your next visit to the doctor's office? You're not alone. Many people feel like they have to rush through the appointment without really getting to ask all of their questions or find any answers. They feel like the doctor doesn't listen to them, and they're not sure that they're getting the proper care. They want that to change.

If that's how you feel, these tips may help:

  • Bring someone else along. You may feel nervous to ask, but they can jump in on your behalf.
  • Write down what you want to say first. If you forget a question that you wanted to ask and the doctor is about to leave the room, ask them to stay while you review the list.
  • On that note, write down the important things that the doctor tells you. This helps you engage in the conversation, and it gives you a reference for later.
  • Ask the doctor how you can get in touch with them if you have any more questions at a later date.
  • Ask about your own medical records. Find out how to read them and what they tell you about medications, treatment plans, diagnoses and more.
  • Don't be afraid to talk to people who are not your primary care doctor. Nurses may have more time and can often access the same information. Your pharmacist may also be able to answer some of your questions.

Even if you do all of this, there's no guarantee that your doctor will not make a mistake. Be sure you know what legal options you have if this does happen.

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