" Whenever I see my doctor, I forget half the things I wanted to say. How can I do better? ”
The 20 or 30 minutes of a consultation often seem too short to deal with all that has happened since last time. So think ahead. Take a few minutes to prepare for your appointment with the doctor and reflect about your concerns.
- Be ready with the information your doctor needs (see the practicalities). Make a list of questions or key words. Even if you don’t refer to it, it will boost your confidence to ask questions and request information on the impact of your treatment, its side effects, how long you will be off work, etc.
- Express your needs and you will feel better about them. Don’t hesitate to tell your doctor if you would like more time at your next consultation. Remind the secretary so that she can allow for this when fixing your next appointment.
- Carry a notebook with you, as a progress log (see the practicalities) tracing the stages of your illness and its treatment. In an emergency or on admission to hospital, you will find this very useful in communication with the various care providers. It will also help you to keep track of the treatment process.