Here’s a professional secret we want to share with you: we doctors depend on you as much as you depend on us to get you the best possible care. There’s nothing we docs love more than seeing a smart patient (like you) walk into our offices. Have you read about a new treatment? Go on, ask! Bring in articles for us to see. your being an informed consumer keeps us on our toes and you in peak health.
Here’s how to get the most out of your next doctor’s visit:
Make a list. It’s the most important step: Jot down what made you schedule an appointment. You’d be amazed at what you forget once you’re sitting eyeball to eyeball with a doc. For a jump-start, use the Health Profile form in our book “YOU: The Smart Patient” (or print it out at RealAge.com — just search for the book title).
No detail’s too small. describe your symptoms: where, when, how often; what seems to make them better or worse; if anyone else at home or at work has them. Include current and past conditions, dates and medications.
Ask questions. if your doc says you need a diagnostic test, it’s fine to ask why. You can also ask: “Hey doc, what happens if I don’t do it?”
Get a scribble translation. Don’t be shy! if this is a new Rx, ask what all those crazy prescription scribbles mean and if there’s a cheaper generic version that’s just as good. Find out if the newbie could interact with anything else you’re taking (grapefruit juice and vitamins, too).
Funny, you look smarter already!
The YOU Docs, Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen, are authors of “YOU: on a Diet.” want more? see “The Dr. Oz Show” on TV (check local listings). To submit questions, go to RealAge.com.