Preparing for a Medical Office Visit
By Anthony G. Alessi, MD – Healthy Rounds
Physicians are currently faced with increasing pressure to see patients in a limited amount of time. In order to make the most of any medical visit, preparation on the part of patients is crucial.
When making an appointment to see a physician, dont be disheartened if the scheduled visit is not soon enough. Simply ask to be placed on a cancellation list. Other patients often cancel visits for unexpected reasons and office personnel must try to fill the slots on short notice.
Most medical offices require some forms to be filled out in anticipation of a visit. There are usually two types of forms.
One form requires insurance information while a second outlines medical issues like allergies, a list of medications a patient is taking, previous surgeries, medical conditions and pertinent family history. These medical forms are often available online or can be mailed to a patient in advance of the visit. Filling them out at home allows for more accurate completion rather than rushing at the time of the visit.
Dress appropriately for a medical visit. Choose clothing that can easily expose the area of the body that requires examination. A short sleeved shirt or gym shorts worn under clothing that can be easily removed work best.
Arrive early so that you can be ready to be evaluated at the time of the appointment. Sudden cancellations by other patients may allow for an earlier visit and more time with the physician.
Always carry an up-to-date list of medications taken and their dosages. Medical assistants will often photocopy the list for the record. It is also important to have in case of an emergency.
Next months column will discuss how to get the most information from a physician through advanced preparation.
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