The Do's And Don'ts Of The Doctor's Office

Most of us have been to the doctor before, but usually, it's with our parents. What about when you go to the doctor by yourself? What do you do? How do you know what questions to ask and what information is important without a parent standing in the corner, butting in at just the right moment? We've got you covered: Make Appointments In Advance

When I turned 17, I was the only person in my house who knew my busy schedule, so I had to start making my own doctors appointments. Because most people in school want to have a physical all around the same times (think the beginning of sports seasons), it is important to make your appointments early enough in advance. Look at your schedule at least one month ahead of time, pick out a date that would be good for you, and to make the appointment then. This will guarantee a convenient time slot for you and you won't need to rush.

Arrive 15 Minutes Early

It is very important that you arrive to your appointment at least 15 minutes early so any materials and paperwork can be filled out ahead of time and you are able to work out any possible issues. Additionally, many offices will ask this regardless and if you are unable to make it 15 minutes early, the doctor may not be able to see you in order to keep on schedule, meaning you'll have to reschedule your appointment.

Emergency? Don't Wait

If you believe something is going on with you that needs immediate care, do not make an appointment with your primary care physician. The likelihood of you needing to wait a few days to go in is pretty high and this may increase your risk of worsening your illness or even lead to death. If you have even the slightest inclination you are having an emergency but don’t think that you need to go to an emergency room, go to urgent care. They will be able to immediately meet your needs and in the event that you need to go to an emergency room, they can direct you to one very easily.

Bring Your Insurance Card

If you've been to your physician before, chances are they already have your card on file. But in case something has changed--a file isn't where it should be, your insurance is different, etc.--you should have a backup with you just in case.

Write Questions In Advance

Many of us understand that when we go to the doctor, the physician actually spends very little time with us. Because of this, it is important to prepare any questions you may have in advance. I have found that this allows me to really think before about what matters and what I need in regard to my health.

Be Honest

Most of us don’t like to admit that we’re not the healthiest people in the world--we like to drink soda and we don’t always exercise, and that’s fine. However, when our doctors ask questions, we need to be honest. It may feel a bit incriminating, but you won’t get into any trouble for anything you're doing.

Don’t Have Your Phone Out

This seems like it is a rule of general courtesy, but when a medical professional is speaking to you, make sure your phone is away. You want to make sure to give your doctor the full respect they deserve as a human being and make it easier for them to help you. By putting away your phone (or any other distractions for that matter), you are best able to do that.

Don’t Ask Meaningless Questions

While you should always ask medical questions that you have honest concerns about, make sure that you are actually concerned about these things. If the mole on your leg really is scaring you or a cut isn’t healing right, your doctor is the right person to ask. However, make sure your questions are medical, valuable and not something that any person could answer for you.