Get The Most Out of Your Doctor’s Visit


The average doctor’s visit lasts about ten minutes. Think about it, in that short amount of time, physicians have to figure out what’s troubling you and then find the best solution for it. So it’s up to you to go in with a game plan.

“The more detailed the information you give, the better chance of a correct diagnosis,” says Dr. Bradley Jones on the medical staff at Baylor Medical Center at Irving.

A game plan includes making a list before going to your doctor’s office with the problems or symptoms you are having, and be as specific as possible.

Don’t just say ‘I’m sick’ or ‘it hurts everywhere’, be precise, let your doctor know where the pain is, how frequently you feel it.

You can also rank your pain level on a scale of 1-10 as shown on this pain scale.

“If it is a recurring problem, keep a log of when it happens and things associated with it, like what you ate,” Dr. Jones says.

Knowing which medications your are on, and how frequently you take them is also very important.

Physicians need to know not only about prescription medications you are on, but also vitamins or herbal supplements that can impact their diagnosis.

Don’t be afraid to take notes and ask questions. If there is something you don’t understand, have your physician explain it. It is important you trust your physician and build a good relationship.

A good relationship often leads to a more positive, accurate outcome.

Something you will appreciate, and your doctor will too.

About the author

Craig Civale
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Craig is a storyteller at heart. He joined Baylor after a 15-year career as an award-winning broadcast journalist, most recently at WFAA-TV in Dallas as a reporter.

Get The Most Out of Your Doctor’s Visit