Five Tips for Going to the Doctor

Originally published July 7, 2018

Going to the doctor can be a daunting or scary experience, even as adults. But if you’re ill you have to go in order to get better.

Here are a few tips to make your experience better and so you can get the most out of your doctors visit!

1. Be on time for your appointment

While doctors may have a reputation for never being on time there are many who are, and when you’re late for your appointment it pushes back everyone else’s. Some places will actually cancel your appointment if you’re too late…

One tip I saw @yaneekpage tweet was that she calls the doctors office sometime before her appointment to see if the doctor is running on time so that she can maximise on her time.

2. Bring all of the medications you’re on or your prescriptions

This has happened to me where I go to the doctor and they ask me about the medication I took before coming to them and I cant remember the dosage or I can’t remember the name. This is especially important to do when you’re going to a health centre or clinic because the doctor who will be seeing you in the public sector might not be the doctor that always sees you. Even if you think you remember the names and the doses please, just walk with them. This helps us when we’re looking at efficacy of the drugs you’re on and drug interactions if we’re thinking about putting you on something else. It can also give insight into what you’re being treated for.

3. Don’t be afraid to be honest.

We are not here to judge you, we are here to treat you. When we ask you questions we’re not here to “fass” we’ve asked the question for a reason. Some questions can be sensitive and downright embarrassing! But don’t worry, answer it just the same.

4. Prepare before going.

There are some few basic questions all doctors will ask:

  1. how long has this been happening?
  2. when did it start?
  3. did you take anything for it?
  4. do you have any illnesses?

And so on. Going to the doctor is like telling a story, a lot of time can be saved if you think about some parts before you go to the doctor.

You also know you will more than likely be examined, so wear clothes thats easy to remove, a simple shirt and pants with non strappy shoes is the best unisex outfit in my opinion.

5. Bring extra money.

Whether public or private, bring more money than you planned to spend. Sometimes you’ll be asked to get a quick immediate test (like urinalysis or random blood glucose) or get an injection that you will have to pay for.


6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or give suggestions.

If you think you know what is wrong with you, say it! Lots of doctors will actually ask you what you think the problem is!

If you have questions, please don’t be afraid to ask them, you can write them down if you think you’ll forget them. It is important that when you go to the doctor you leave understanding what is happening and what the course of management is. We won’t think you’re “dumb” for asking for clarification.

I know going to the doctor’s office can be scary, but it shouldn’t be! You should always feel comfortable and listened to. If you feel as though you have been judged, shamed or unfairly treated by medical staff most (if not all) places have customer care where you can lodge a complaint or simply point it out nicely to the person.

Remember, your health is your responsibility and when seeking care you are your top priority. Go where you’re comfortable.

Samantha C. Johnson

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