Doctor’s appointments can be a hassle. Especially if you are a frequent visitor with a large medical history. There’s a lot of information to process, protocols to follow through with and insurance companies to handle. And more often than not, if you’re spending a lot of time at the doctor’s office, you’re probably not feeling your best. Here’s what we advise you to bring with you to every Doctor’s appointment to help things go smoothly.
1. Your Prescription Drugs
It can be easy to forget the names of your prescriptions, especially if you take more than 3. Not to mention the pressure of trying to recall the names of your medications under the pressure of a hasty Doctor’s appointment. Although most of your medications could be in your file at your primary care doctor’s clinic, if you are on any other medications from outside specialists, chances are your provider has not yet been updated on them. To save you from potential frustrations and oversights, keep all of your medications in one bag. Every time you have a Doctor’s appointment, just bring your bag with you. This way you and your primary care provider are always on the same page. At Trinity Medical Group in Lakeland and Winter Haven, we also call-in refills from our offices as well. When you bring in all of your medications to each appointment, we are able to help ensure you never run out.
2. Insurance and ID Cards
Most health clinics require you to bring a copy of your insurance card and your photo ID to every appointment. Even if the front office staff at your primary care office don’t ask for them on a regular basis, bring them to every appointment anyway. It’s much better to be prepared than to have to reschedule an appointment because you left them at home.
3. Journal of Your Symptoms
If your next Doctor’s appointment is related to a new concern, it helps to have a journal of your symptoms and their related dates. A symptoms journal can act as a document detailing your discomfort levels, dates of your symptoms, how each symptom has affected you and the steps you have taken in an attempt to relieve the discomfort they cause. This can make the discussion you have with your doctor easier and more accurate versus having to pull circumstances from memory. The more detail, the better.
4. List of Alternative Therapies and Supplements
Not all physicians are experts in alternative medicines, but it’s useful for them to know what you’re doing. This is because there may be potentially harmful interactions between alternative medicines you’re taking and the drugs your provider prescribes you. Prevent this by bringing a current list of the following to every Doctor’s appointment: fish oil supplements, vitamins, herbal remedies (bringing the bottles themselves is even better), as well as a record of visits to any chiropractors, acupuncturists or other practitioners.
5. Updates to Your Medical Record
If you’ve received a new test result since your last doctor’s appointment, be sure to bring them with you, even if you believe your doctor has already seen them. Having this information on hand at your appointment ensures that you’ll remember to discuss it with your physician. This is particularly important if you’re seeing a new doctor or specialist outside of your primary care office. Any updates to your medical record will help give your physician a clearer picture of your health. This not only speeds up diagnosis, but also reduces any need for additional or redundant tests that could bring about unnecessary side effects.
Schedule your next doctor’s appointment at Trinity Medical Group, today! We hope these tips make all of your Doctor’s appointments easier and hassle-free. To stay up-to-date on the latest health news, subscribe to our blog and follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus Lakeland and Google Plus Winter Haven. We love to hear from our followers and patients!