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Managing Your Care And Your Expectations


Once you’ve made a list of the answers to the questions we talked about in our last post, you’re ready for your appointment.

Be prepared to make the most efficient use of your time with your health professional.  Most doctor’s offices schedule appointments in 15 minute increments so be ready to hit the ground running when you have face time with your physician.

To do that, you need to:

  • Take control of your time.  If your doctor doesn’t have time to fully answer the questions you have, ask for someone who can.  Many practices have physician’s assistants or nurse practitioners who can tell you what you need to know.
  • Make sure you understand exactly what your doctor is telling you.  If you don’t, say so.  If you want a good outcome, you have to know what you can and can’t do.
  • Write down whatever your doctor tells you about your condition, any medications he’s prescribing and any lifestyle changes you need to make.
  • Review what you write down with your doctor.  Make sure that what you understood him to say is really what he said.
  • Set realistic goals for your treatment. Make sure that your doctor understands exactly what you want to achieve.  Do you want to heal? Do you just want to manage your condition?  Do you only want to know how to deal with a new medical symptom?  Your goals will help your doctor determine how to treat you.

Taking these steps will help you manage your own care and your expectations for what you can realistically achieve through treatment.