My doctor tips

So, in addition to blogging, teaching BODYPUMP, being Luke’s Mom, Scott’s wife, runner and cupcake eater, I am a family practice doctor. I work in a small town in southern MN. And I LOVE it. And I am really passionate about all of my patients getting the most out of their time with me! Also, I think the relationship you have with your doctor is super important and there are a few things that I would love to tell all of my patients.

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So, here are a few of my tips from getting the most from your doctor and from your visit. . .

Tip #1. Tell the scheduler everything – they set the length of appointment i.e. the time you have with your doctor. At my clinic they can schedule a 15, 30 or 45 minute apt depending on what you are being seen for.

Tip #2. Tell the nurse everything – ok well not everything, but make sure to tell the nurse everything that you want to talk to the doctor about. They are the first step to making sure that you accomplish everything you want from your visit with your doctor. It also helps to make sure that nothing gets forgotten and also helps your doctor to organize their thoughts and visit plan before even coming in the room with you.

at my little sister’s nursing graduation. She is a nurse in Labor and Delivery.

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Tip #3. Bring ALL of your medications – prescription, over the counter, supplements, vitamins, your friend’s medication that you took that one time that really helped, etc. If you can’t bring the bottles, at least write down names in your phone, because it is really hard for your doctor to guess what medication you had that one time that started with a “B.”

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Tip #4. Be honest. No, seriously. You won’t tell your doctor anything that they haven’t heard before. This is the time to be 100% truthful. Because if your doctor doesn’t know, they can’t help you.

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Tip #5. Ask questions. Make sure you understand what the plan is from your doctor. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, clarify, ask for next steps, etc.

Now, obviously, this isn’t an all-inclusive list, but it is a good start. Smile

What tips do you have to make sure that you have a successful visit with your doctor?

18 Comments

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18 Responses to My doctor tips

  1. Love this post. It is so true to make sure to tell the nurse what you need and want from the physician. I can’t even tell you how many times someone said everything was great to me (the nurse) and then had a huge laundry list for the doctor. It catches everyone by surprise and often makes more work for the physician that could have been prevented.

  2. Kate

    I love this post! I’m a pharmaceutical sales rep (your favorite person right?;)) and it is so important for patients to take some control of their own health by asking questions and getting the most our of their appointments! Writing down questions and a list of topics ahead of time also helps since time can be so limited! When I’m at work, I try and talk to the entire staff and make sure the nurses are informed of my products so that they are just as capable of answering any questions from the patient to help the MD! I have so much respect for medical professionals and all of the staff, a lot of hard work often goes unnoticed so thank you! :)

    • KT

      Ha!! I work for Mayo so we don’t have any pharmaceutical reps around. . . which is a bummer because you guys have A LOT of good information about new drugs!

  3. Thanks for those tips – it can seem a little over-the-top to have to tell the scheduler, the nurse, and then ALSO the doctor what the problems/concerns are, but your explanation makes it clear why it’s necessary and helpful. Thanks!
    Stephanie@nowirun.com recently posted..Sacred Mountain Prayer Run ~Race Recap~My Profile

    • KT

      I totally agree that it is A LOT to tell everyone but it is SO important to make sure you get everything you need from your appointment time! :)

  4. I was wondering if you would ever do a Doctor post! I love your tips and agree, its super important to be honest! I’m not a big fan of the doctor…My family has plenty of medical issues so I understand that there are things that are completely necessary, and I go in once a year, but I try to treat myself right so I don’t need too much care.
    Katie recently posted..Garry Bjorklund 2014 Race PlanMy Profile

    • KT

      Preventative care is a HUGE part of my job too – so I am glad to hear that’s important to you too!!

  5. Great tips! It took me a long time to find a doctor I felt actually remembered me and cared.
    I’m still always impressed with how you manage to fit it all the things you do while being a doctor too. You’re seriously a super woman!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food recently posted..Thursday is the new FridayMy Profile

    • KT

      awwww thanks Kelly!! And I always tell people to keep looking until you do find a doctor that listens to you. . . it’s SO important!

  6. Thanks for these tips, Katie! I get super anxious about going to the doctor and these help me to feel better :)
    Kate @ Baking in Yoga Pants recently posted..Owning ItMy Profile

  7. Love these tips, especially be honest! I’ve been nagging my husband a bit to tell the doctor what is actually going on so he can get the best help.
    Danielle recently posted..Happy Father’s Day!My Profile

  8. Becky @ Olives n Wine

    Is this post written so I stop asking you so many doctor questions?? ;) These are all great tips and I need to learn to bring my supplements with me!

  9. Love this post! I’ve always been curious about your “other life”! :) I admit that I’m not great at telling schedulers/nurses everything…I’ve had too many experiences where I’ve poured my heart out to a nurse and then the doctor comes in and goes “so what’s the problem?” — seemingly with no background. I’d rather just talk to the doctor directly than repeat my whole story twice. But I am working on being more patient with the process! I understand why it works the way it does–I just wish it would work better sometimes. :) I think part of the problem is that I’ve been in lots of stressful multi-hour allergy appointments with Mason in the past two years, and the toddler meltdown clock is always ticking! :)
    Kim @ Fittin Pretty recently posted..Friday favsMy Profile

    • KT

      I totally understand – it can seem like you are repeating yourself over and over again and sometimes I do go into the room and pretend I haven’t heard any of it before so I can hear the whole story too – but it helps to know a little bit of the story beforehand – so don’t feel like you are wasting your breath!!