Your loved one’s visits to the doctor are always important. Since time for discussion is often limited, it is best to be well prepared in advance. To make the appointment effective and satisfying, there are certain things you can do before, during and between appointments.
Note that most of these tips can also apply to any other health professional.
Before the appointment
- Insofar as possible, include your loved in the preparation for the appointment and discuss what topics will be covered.
- Prepare a list of questions and number them in order of importance.
- Gather information regarding your loved one’s health (symptoms, history, lifestyle habits, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, list of medications).
- Ask the pharmacy for the list of medications. Add non-prescription drugs and natural products to the list.
During the appointment
- Remember to bring the documents that you had gathered in advance as well as health insurance and hospital cards, if necessary.
- Start by discussing the most important subjects first, to make sure you have time to cover them with the doctor.
- If there is information that you do not understand, do not hesitate to ask the doctor questions or for further explanation of certain points.
- Take noteof the important information (do not hesitate to ask the doctor to write down more technical terms for you so that you have them if needed).
- Keep a journal in which you write down your observations on the progress of your loved one’s health status and note changes observed (behaviours, symptoms, humour, etc.).
- Inform the doctor if you notice adverse effects related to the medication or if you observe changes in your loved one's the health condition.
For more information on medical appointments, visit www.discutonssante.ca [in French]. This website features simple, practical tips, an interactive tool for preparing for appointments and a health record to be completed online.