If you want to keep your health as good as it could be, you need to take the advice of your doctor. Of course, you don’t want to spend all your time sitting in the doctor’s office. Here are the biggest things that your doctor wants you to know, so you can better look after yourself and advocate for your own health.

Come Prepared For Your First Doctor’s Visit

When you do have to visit the doctor, make sure you go prepared, so you can get the most out of it and avoid wasting your and their time. Make sure you take the right things with you. 

If you’re a new patient, take all your new patient paperwork. If you’re going for a follow-up appointment after a scan, make sure you take a copy of the scans with you, so your doctor can review them. Always take your insurance and prescription cards, and make sure you know the name, address, and phone number of your pharmacy. 

Write Down Questions For Your Doctor In Advance

If you think of questions you have for your doctor while you’re at home, write them down so you don’t forget them. For anything that might need some research, see if you can send in questions in advance of your appointment. 

Set Priorities For Your Visit

Prioritize what you want to discuss during your visit, and remember there is a time limit on your appointment. Your doctor sees a lot of patients, so being prepared can help you get the most from your visit. You can save more time by ordering your medications online, including flexiseq


Try to communicate clearly with your care team, and make communication easier. 

Adjust your phone settings to allow calls from blocked numbers, like your doctor’s cell phone, or the mainline of the office. Change your voicemail greeting so it’s your own voice, so healthcare staff know they have definitely reached you and can leave a message. Make sure your doctor has cell phone numbers and email addresses for you and caregivers you may have. 

Report New And Worrying Symptoms

Keep a diary of any symptoms. Take photos of visible symptoms. This makes it easier to share the details with your doctor. 

Use The Online Patient Portal

If your doctor’s surgery has one, use it. It’s one of the best ways to communicate directly with your doctor.

Learn About Palliative Care

Your doctor can provide resources to improve your quality of life if you ever need palliative care. Talk to your doctor about what they can offer to complement curative treatments. Palliative care can:

  • Give clear treatment goals
  • Improve your quality of life
  • Reduce uncomfortable symptoms

Know That Your Doctor Puts Thought Into Treatment Plans

Your doctor carefully considers a lot of different things, including the cost of your treatment and whether or not it will be by your insurance. They think about the frequency of the treatment you will need and your safety while you’re being treated. They should take into account how much support you will need from others during your treatment, such as help with transportation or taking medication. They will put thought into how any medications or therapy will be delivered, where the treatment is offered, whether or not you are interested in a clinical trial, and what your goals, wishes, and fears for the treatment are. 

Ask Questions About Your Treatment Plan

You should feel able to ask questions about your treatment plan. Ask questions to make sure you understand it, and that it will work for you. Discuss the treatment plan with your doctor to make sure you want the particular treatment and that you feel it is actually worth it for you. At follow-up appointments, discuss whether or not the treatment is getting the job done for you. Ask if you meeting any predetermined goals that you and your doctor agreed to set when you started treatment, such as improved function in your daily life or better control over your condition. Ask if the treatment is safe for you based on other medications you take and on your current health condition. 

Seek A Second Or Third Opinion

Ask your physician if they collaborate with other doctors and staff in other disciplines. Having someone else to get a second or third opinion from can be very helpful if you get bad news. Having a group of experts to turn to that you can discuss your case with can help you to determine what the best treatment plan for you could be. You can even get a second opinion and more help virtually through a consultation with a healthcare organization that offers its services online. 

Make Use Of Patient And Caregiver-Centered Resources

There are lots of resources available for patients and caregivers. If you’re undergoing treatment for a long-term condition, there may something helpful available, whether for emotional support, advice, or practical help. Ask your doctor if there are any services that they recommend. This could include blogs, social media, and forums online to meet others who share your experiences. In-person support groups might also be useful to you to meet people who also have your condition. See if you can make use of financial or social services if your condition affects your ability to work. See what government resources are available to you. 

If you’re worried about cancer, look into cancer screening programs. If you’re trying for a child, look for fertility preservation or family planning services. Genetic counseling could also be of interest. 

If you’re caring for someone else, look for groups and caregiver services to get support and help from others in your situation. Look for nonprofit or medical associations that could help. 

See if you can access patient assistance programs from pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies who can help with access to prescription drugs and more affordable co-pays. To help you get to appointments, you might be able to get help from transportation services. For emotional support, seek wellness services.