VitaMin - Speak up for your health

Health tips under a minute

Speak up for your health
When you see the doctor, you want to come away with clear answers and next steps. But there may be times when you feel rushed, confused or reluctant to talk about concerns with your doctor. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your next doctor’s appointment.

Come prepared - 
Bring a list of questions to ask your doctor and take notes during your visit. Prioritize your list so the most important topics are covered first. Also, bring a list of the medicines you currently take, including vitamins, herbs and other supplements.

State your purpose - Explain to the doctor your health concerns and what you hope to achieve. Let him or her know if you want a diagnosis, a second opinion, help with an existing ailment, a change in your medication or a referral to a specialist.

Be specific - Jot down notes about your symptoms before your appointment. You may want to mark down how long you’ve been having symptoms, if it’s constant or comes and goes, what triggers the symptom (food, exercise, weather), what relieves it and if anyone else in your family has it.

Speak up - Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to bring up sensitive topics. It’s important to share what you know about your body and your health. And if something doesn’t make sense, ask about it. Your doctor may be able to explain it another way.

Bring a friend - If you’re anxious or need help with communication, ask someone to come along to your visit. He or she can help make sure you get the information you need.

Confirm next steps - Listen closely to your doctor’s instructions so you know what to do next. If you don’t understand something, ask your doctor to repeat it or explain it differently.