Posted on: 28 June 2018Share
If you're like most people, getting round to booking an appointment with your GP always seems to be something you're too busy to do, unless there's an urgent problem. Doctors are busy too, with a lot of patients to see in a day, so when you do find the time to see yours, it's important to make the visit count.
Getting the right diagnosis for something that's been affecting you for a while is crucial if it's to be treated successfully. To help your doctor reach a conclusion quickly and accurately, follow these tips for your next appointment.
Stick to one problem
You might have a list of things you want to discuss with your doctor, but cramming more than one problem into a short appointment means the doctor has less time to investigate them all.
Choose the most important one and leave it at that. If you need to discuss several important issues, you might be able to get a longer appointment or book more than one on the same day.
Prepare your information
While you're unlikely to forget the main symptoms you're experiencing, you might miss other important points. Write down as much detail as you can about what's been happening, including dates and times if relevant. This helps to ensure you can give the doctor accurate information and cover anything that might be important. Take your notes with you so you can be certain you've covered everything you wanted to.
Be ready for appropriate tests
If you think you might need a urine test, try to avoid going just before your appointment. If there's a chance a blood test might be needed, wear clothing that makes it easy to get to your veins. And if a blood pressure test is on the cards, avoid anything that could temporarily elevate it, like caffeine and cigarettes.
Try not to diagnose yourself
The internet contains everything you need to diagnose yourself with all kinds of nasty and unusual conditions. It's easy to convince yourself you have a specific diagnosis, but leave it up to your GP to find out what's going on. With that said, a little bit of research can be helpful, especially if it highlights a symptom you might not have realised could be relevant.
Doctors aren't there to judge you—their job is to help you stay healthy. If you are dishonest about unhealthy habits or embarrassing problems, it will be harder for your doctor to reach a diagnosis or to choose an appropriate treatment, so don't be afraid to tell the truth.
For additional information, contact your local medical clinic.