In today’s post I will be sharing with you all the essentials that you need for your doctors appointments. Whether you are going to see your specialist or just your family doctor this list will cover it all.
To make it super easy for you I have also created a FREE PRINTABLE CHECKLIST for you to use for your next appointment. If you enjoy this post, please consider subscribing to my email newsletter, where you will get a weekly lesson from me (that I only share in the email), and also a recap of my social and blog posts from the week in your inbox every Sunday.
But, enough about that, let’s get into the post shall we.
1. Bring Your Medical Binder/Important Papers
This is absolutely critical to bring to every single appointment whether that be to your specialist or to your family doctor. You never know what kind of questions your doctor will ask you. So, I try to be on the safe side and bring the binder no matter what.
This is especially important if you are going to see a new or fairly new doctor. They may not have all of your medical history files easily accessible so if you have them, it will make the process a whole lot smoother.
P.S. If your binder is super unorganized, try to organize it a little before you go to your appointment. That way you know where all the relevant information is in your binder.
2. Bring a Pen and Paper
This may seem like a no brainer, but it is super important to bring a notepad and pen to write down any thoughts during the appointment or any tests you need to book after your appointment. Alternatively, you could always write this in your phone. But, make sure you write this in a safe spot like in Google Keep or any other note taking apps.
3. Bring a List of Medication & Supplements (and their DOSE)
This is very important to bring to all your doctors visits BUT especially a new doctor. Your doctor is going to need to know what medication you are already on and the DOSE before they can prescribe you anything else. It is also important to write down your supplements and their dose in case of any possible drug interactions.
4. Do a Quick Check-in & Be Honest
Check-in on the following questions:
- How am I feeling? Mentally and physically.
- What symptoms have I had in the past few months?
- Why am I going to the doctors today?
- What is my quality of life like right now?
- Do I feel heard by my doctor right now? How can I explain how I am feeling in a firm but polite way?
Once you have answered all these questions, go back through and ask yourself AM I TRULY BEING HONEST HERE?
Are you describing your pain as ‘okay’ when you haven’t been able to get out of your house in weeks? Are you fully explaining how you are feeling emotionally or are you censoring yourself?
LYING TO YOUR DOCTOR WON’T HELP.
Be as honest as you can be and this will truly make a big difference. This check-in will help to inform the questions and concerns you have for this visit that I talk about in the next step.
5. Have a List of Questions & Concerns Ready
Before your appointment, be sure to reflect on WHY you are going and what you would like to discuss with your doctor. Go back to number 4 and really answer those questions. I like to either write the list on my phone or in my notebook. This will help you feel prepared for your appointment and ease any anxiety about the appointment. This is also a great way to make sure EVERYTHING is covered and that you don’t get off topic.
6. Wear Your ADVOCACY Hat
You’re probably like wait what?? Now, I don’t have an actual hat that I where to the doctors, but what I mean by this is to be prepared to advocate for yourself. Go over your list of questions, how you are feeling, what you want to say, even practice in the mirror if it helps. Be prepared to advocate for your health and what you know to be true.
Far too often we can be dismissed by doctors that don’t take us seriously, but it is important to hold your ground. So, preparing yourself mentally for your appointment is ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS you can do.
7. Bring a Friend or Family Member
Sometimes it is nice to have some support when you are going to big doctors appointments. Someone who can take notes for you and help you stand your ground if you need help advocating for your health. I know this is not always possible, but try to bring a loved one to important doctors appointments like a new specialist or a surgeon, etc. Often a lot of information can be thrown at us in these appointments so having someone to absorb the material with you is helpful.
8. Snacks & Water
Doctors appointments can come with long wait times so be sure to bring some snacks and some water to keep you tide over and to avoid getting hangry.
9. Something to Entertain Yourself With
While you wait to see your doctor be sure to have something to entertain yourself with. This could be a good old fashion book, your phone, or maybe some school/business work that you can get done without disturbing others.
10. Medical ID card & Health Insurance Card
In order to get in to see your doctor you are going to need both of these items, so be sure to have all of the proper documentation ready and easily accessible for your appointment.
I hope that you found this list helpful and that you can use it next time you have a doctors appointment. To have it handy for your next appointment be sure to DOWNLOAD THE FREE PRINTABLE CHECKLIST I created for YOU!
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Your trusty, gutsy gal,