by: Mark E. Lavallee, MD, FACSM
South Bend, Indiana
presented July 26, 2002
EDNF Learning Conference
Establish better relationship with Doctor, primary care physician (FP, IM, peds) specialists (ortho, neuro, PM&R, etc) dentist
Maximize your office visit
- what can be accomplished by phone or mail?
DO make lists of questions/concerns
- realize you might not get to all items
DON'T have Doctor do lots of refills during your visit
- waste of your and Doctor's time
- can be done before, after, or by nurse
DO start visit with objectives you need. Doctors appreciate straight-forwardness.
DON'T schedule a regular visit if you have more than 2 complaints. If you need more than 10-15 minutes, schedule a long visit (30 minutes).
DO let your doctors know when they're successful in a treatment, because they usually only hear the failures. Doctors are human too.
DON'T forget your annual physical and prevention exams. Try not to discuss chronic conditions at these visits.
DO try to think like a doctor!
DON'T be too demanding - this is a sure way to have a doctor NOT do what you want.
DO establish a good relationship with the doctor's front and back office staff.
DON'T wait until pain or problem is at a critical level - doctors generally don't like their patients to have EMERGENCIES.
DO pick a doctor that you relate to, and who relates to you.
If on painkillers and you need monthly scripts
DON'T have other doctors refill your med.
DON'T let your meds run out; call 2-5 days prior.
DON'T wait until you feel you will explode!
DO keep on top of your insurance situation:
- amount of PT benefits
- expensive tests
- Gently remind Doctor if not covered.