Medical Mondays: Practical Ways to Prepare for a Doctor Visit

If you're like me and dread doctor's visit because you are so complicated they don't quite know what to do with you, here are some tips I've learned to make the most of the visit, and make sure I'm not driving away beating myself up for forgetting all my questions!

 Tips for Making the Most of Your Doctor Appointment:

1. If a doctor brushes you off, tries to make you feel like the problem (if you'd just lose weight, or just exercise, etc.), or gets patronizing (like pats you--I've had that happen!), find another doctor. Having a chronic condition is not a doctor's dream. You need to find one who is willing to stick it out with you. When we moved to NC, I explained my illness to the doctor and point-blank asked her if she wanted a patient like me (this was huge, as I'm from the south and hate being direct). When she answered that she like complicated cases because she got to learn about things, I knew I'd found a good one!

2. Before your visit, get a piece of paper and write down why you are going to the doctor. This may seem simplistic, but again, sitting around in a paper towel makes you forget simple things.

3. Be more than just a responder. I used to think the doctor could just look at me and magically figure out what I needed. Doesn't work that way. We need to be pro-active and help them as much as possible. We can do that by being very clear, and even steering the visit in the direction we need if it starts drifting to other things.

4. Write down all your symptoms, but put any stress-related symptoms LAST not first. If doctors see stress symptoms at the top--depression, anxiety, panic feelings (especially if you're a woman in your 20s to 50s), that tends toward a certain response, one that will not get you the testing you need.

5. If it won't freak you out, do some research online before you go. If you have an idea of what you might have, find out the best tests to get for that.

6. Write down beforehand exactly what you want the doctor to do for you. Do you want a certain test? A certain medication? I did research and discovered a very rare medication that might help my low blood sugar. I wrote it down and asked the doctor. She'd never heard of it being used for that, but she looked it up, checked it out, and let me try it.

7. Pray beforehand, putting the next minutes or hours in God's hands. Then practice renewing your mind toward peace.

What other ideas do you have? What has helped you before or during doctor appointments?

(FYI, I've got a chapter on this in the 2nd book of the Sick&Tired series, so what you list below may end up in there!)

Related Posts: Going to the Doctor, Wearing a Big Paper Towel

That Happened Back When...Um...


  1. Thanks Kimberly! This is helpful. I am going to print and put in my "symptom calendar" that I take to my doc visits!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm glad it's helpful!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.