Most people don’t know that doctors usually depend on what you tell them to make a diagnosis on what might be wrong with you. One thing is sure, doctors are not magicians. Most people leave the consulting room feeling unsatisfied because they missed out on important things that could have helped them get the best.
In this article I’m going to show you how to make the most out of your consulting room visit
- Make a list of your symptoms and complaints
Most of the time we leave the hospital before we remember something important that we should have told the doctor but didn’t remember to. Well a simple reason could be due to the fact that many of us have some anxiety when we enter the hospital or sit in front of the doctor. A simple cure for this is to list your complaints and symptoms before you go into the consulting room. You could simply do this on your phone or piece of paper.
- Note the duration of your symptoms
This makes a lot of difference and helps your doctor make a more accurate diagnosis. Responses like “its been a while now”, it’s been there “a long time” are not helpful because individuals vary in their perception of time someone, could say “it’s been going on for a long time” when he’s referring to about 1 week whereas another could be referring to about 3yrs with the same statement. So be specific as possible, when making a list of your symptoms, make the effort to add the duration
- Order of occurrence of your symptoms
Doctors are trained to know the usual history (or progression) of disease conditions and rely on this to help make a diagnosis. It is therefore very good if you can tell when your symptoms started in a sequential manner.
- Recent medications or treatment
Most people never bother to know the names of the drugs that they are given at the hospital. This is not good for many reasons especially when you visit another hospital or different doctor. It is important to let your doctor know the drugs that you have taken or a similar ailment and also any other drug that you might be on. This is because certain drugs do not go together due to certain known harmful interactions.
- Know your medical status or history
You should know drugs that you’re allergic to and inform your doctor whenever you visit. For instance a person who is G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, it is an enzyme required for the normal function of Red Blood Cells) should not take certain drugs. Any other thing that you’re allergic to should also be made known to your doctor to help him choose the best mode of treatment for you
- Ask questions! Be interested in your condition
This might be the most important, you need to be sure you understand what your doctor is saying if not you need to ask for clarification. Often times clients leave the consulting room to ask other staff about what the doctor has said. You should ask about your condition and what to expect. Be sure you know when to report for review.
- Be honest
There is no point in lying to your doctor, after all he can’t beat you. Remember he knowing what is wrong with you depends in part on what you tell him so if you want the right diagnoses and the right treatment you have to be honest. What’s more, we are trained to keep your secrets. Know this whatever wild story you think you might have am sorry to disappoint you but we’ve heard worse so please bring it out, it could be the key to the right therapy and sometimes life saving
- Make your expectations known
Right from the beginning, let the doctor know what you are expecting, do you just want more information? Are you expecting a cure? Making your expectations known helps the doctor to better satisfy you or manage your expectations such as explaining to you why a particular condition cannot be cured but can be managed.
Lastly, remember the doctor is not your enemy, he or she is there to help you so just relax and talk to him.
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