When you don't have a lot of time, it can be tempting to skip a doctor appointment. Even if it is just a yearly exam, it's still important to keep the appointment. These exams may not seem like a big deal, but they are key tactic in monitoring your health and catching potential problems early. The following tips can help you make the most of your visit with minimal loss of time.
Tip #1: Schedule for early in the day
If you want to cut down on time in the waiting room and make sure your appointment takes no more time than necessary, then try to schedule the first appointment of the day. Why? Because as the day progresses and appointments run over the allotted time or people arrive late, the chances of your own appointment being late increase. In the morning, this isn't likely to occur. Just make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes early, since you may need to fill out paperwork before the doctor can see you.
Tip #2: Do your tests ahead of time
Chances are you will have to do at least a routine blood test. Depending on your health, there may be other annual tests you will also need to do. Find out what these are and see if you can stop by the lab to have them done in advance of the appointment. Labs often have no appreciable wait times, so you can drop in at any time. This way you won't be sent all over the office for a variety of tests on the day of the appointment. Some tests you can even do at home. For example, if your doctor needs a urine sample, you can pick up a sample cup then bring it in on the day of your appointment.
Tip #3: Compile your questions
You can save time by being prepared. In the days leading up to your appointment, begin writing down any health related questions as they come to you. Then, bring the list as well as a pen with you to the appointment. Not only does this ensure you get all the information you need, you save time since you aren't trying to remember everything. Also, by writing down the answers as you receive them, you won't find yourself asking for the same information over again.
Tip #4: Come prepared to update
Even if you have been seeing the same family doctor for years, be aware that there may be updated paperwork to fill out. Bring a list of your medicines, otherwise the nurse will have to do a med search and this takes time. You may also need to update insurance information or personal info, such as contact information. Make sure you bring your medical cards and anything else you may need for this type of paper work.
For more help, contact a family doctor's office near you.