Get the most out of your next doctor’s visit

Doctor Discussing Records With Senior Female Patient

When it’s time for your next doctor’s visit, consider these ways to make the most of the minutes you have with your physician:

Make a list of questions and concerns. It’s easy to forget to ask important questions in the limited amount of time you have with your physician. Write them down ahead of time.

Answer questions truthfully. Research shows that many people don’t tell the truth when asked questions — especially potentially embarrassing ones — by their doctor. But providing honest answers about your lifestyle and health habits is an important part of getting the best possible care.

Jot down instructions. Most people forget much of what their doctor tells them within an hour of their appointment, studies show. Write down important facts. Follow your doctor’s instructions closely.

Follow up if you need additional information. Don’t be shy. If you have additional questions or concerns after your appointment, call your doctor’s office and let them know. They may be able to handle them over the phone or will be able to make a follow-up appointment.

Take a friend or family member with you. Sometimes appointments can be overwhelming. You don’t have to go into your appointment alone. Having a friend or family member with you may just keep you calm or help you fully understand your medical diagnoses and treatment options.