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, don’t 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.
About the Author
Anthony G. Alessi, MD, MMM ,graduated from the University of Rome and completed his residency and neuromuscular fellowship at the University of Michigan. He is in private practice in Norwich, CT, specializing in neurology, electrodiagnosticmedicineand sports neurology. He is board-certified in neurology and electrodiagnostic medicine.
Dr. Alessi received his Masters degree in medical management from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in 2001.He serves as a neurologic consultant to many athletic organizations including the University of Connecticut Athletic Department, Norwich Free Academy and the Connecticut State Boxing Commission.Dr. Alessi also serves as a neurologic consultant to the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, CT Sun (WNBA) and Hartford Colonials (UFL).
He is the medical director of the William W. Backus Hospital Stroke Center, writes a syndicated column, “HealthySports,” for the Norwich Bulletin and is the host of “Neuro Frontiers” on Reach MD XM 160 and “Healthy Rounds,” syndicated through WTIC 1080, the Hartford CBS affiliate.Dr. Alessi’s book, “Healthy Sports: A Doctor’sLessonsfor a Winning Lifestyle,” is a compilation of instructive columns. His most recent book, “Lift Up Your Hearts: Healing Haiti, Land of Hardship,” recounts the work of Dr. Alessi and other medical volunteers after the earthquake in Haiti. Reach him at www.alessimd.com.
He is the author of the critically acclaimed book Brain Drain, which helps explain and fix self-sabotage. It is the winner of the 2011 Independent Publisher's Award and 2011 Eric Hoffer Award as the best Self-Help and Health book, 2010 Pinnacle Book Award for best Self-Help Book, and 2009 LA Book Festival Best Spirituality Book.
To new subscribers on his website, he is now offering his free, new EBook, Destiny Diet. Weekly, Dr. Glassman hosts Medicine on the Cutting Edge, which gives a voice to pioneers in medical research and development. Dr. Glassman lives with his family in Rockland County, NY.
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