Keep in mind some key planning measures before your next doctor’s visit.

It is important to keep in mind that you are in charge of your healthcare decisions, and that your physician is a valued partner in that, providing information, education, and guidance about conditions, lifestyle choices, and elements that affect your health.  In the end, however, the decision is yours as to what to do with that information. It is imperative that the communication between you and your physician is open, honest, and clear, so that you can make the best, most informed decision possible.  So how can you best facilitate that communication and get the most out of those visits?

Come Prepared

Have your questions written down, any concerns you have, and anything you need the doctor to review.

Be Honest

It is imperative that the physician have accurate information, in order for you to get honest and accurate feedback. This isn’t the time to present a rosy picture or say what you think the physician wants to hear.

Ask Questions

If you do not understand something, ask them to explain it again, or in a different way, so that you can understand.  Sometimes it is helpful to repeat the information back to them, to ensure you have understood correctly.

Consider an Advocate

Bring along an advocate if it is difficult for you to speak and take notes as well.

If you are facing a surgery or a procedure that requires anesthesia, discuss this with your doctor, weighing out the pros and cons of that procedure and the type of sedation involved.  There are indications that anesthesia can have greater adverse effects on the elderly, sometimes resulting in either postoperative delirium or cognitive dysfunction.

For more detailed information please check out our brochure called “Working with your Doctor.” This brochure provides tips and ideas on managing your health and may help assist you when speaking with your doctor at future medical appointments.