Judge whether you are comfortable in the office with the doctor and the staff. Were you pleasantly greeted? Was the waiting room comfortable with new and pertinent reading material? Were you made to wait too long? If so, were an explanation and apology offered? Did you feel an easy exchange of information with the receptionist, nurse, and doctor? Was the atmosphere professional/friendly and the environment professional/clean? Were you asked for a comprehensive history? Was the history reviewed? If you arranged to be examined during this get acquainted visit, during the examination, was each step explained clearly to you? Were your questions completely answered? If you received a prescription for medication, were you fully informed about why you were to take it, how to take-it,~ and any side effects that might occur? If you have affirmative answers to all of these questions, you may well have found the right doctor for you.

What should I have ready for the doctor INTERVIEW?

You need to do some work to get the most out of the interview, while taking the smallest amount of the physician’s time that you can. You should prepare a comprehensive family medical history, know the reason for your visit, and the symptoms you are experiencing. If the visit is specifically about menopause, learn as much about your symptoms as possible so that your exchange of information can be as valuable as possible to you both. Remember it is not reasonable to expect that a physician can answer a lifetime of questions in a single visit, so if

this is to be your doctor, expect that shared information, like trust, builds over a period of time.

I cannot stress too strongly the importance of finding the right doctor. Ideally, this should be a relationship from which you derive security and comfort. This should be akin to how you relate to other important people and professionals in your life your lawyer, banker, accountant, or your religious leader. You need to find a doctor you can work with and believe in! No, please don’t think I am creating an analogy of doctors as gods. Physicians have no interest in that role. As a matter of fact, I read recently somewhere that the notion of thinking of physicians as gods will be dispelled just as soon as we get up off our knees and take control of ourselves.

To empower you to take charge, I offer the following:

Twelve Tips for Making the Most of Your Physician Visit

When making your appointment, try to let the receptionist know how much time you may need, if you know.

Know the financial requirements of that office and have your insurance information handy.

If you are concerned by a long wait in the doctor’s office, call ahead to see how the appointment schedule is running and whether you should arrive at a later time.

Don’t be late (unless item 3 applies).

Let the receptionist know you are there, as soon as you arrive.

Bring a written list of your medical symptoms or complaints.

Bring a written list of your questions or the subjects you need to cover.

Make sure you fully understand each of the doctor’s answers. If you don’t, ask for further explanation at that time.

Eliminate small talk or chitchat with the doctor, whenever possible. The physician has a limited amount of time and wishes to render the best possible care. Getting to the point saves both of you valuable time.

Present yourself as confident and your problem as serious.

Before you leave, fully understand the need for further tests, therapy, or medication if indicated and the side effects, if any.

If you are unhappy with your doctor and cannot resolve your problems through dialogue, then don’t hesitate to seek medical care elsewhere.

Remember: A satisfactory patient!physician partnership requires mutual respect!


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