how to: GET THE MOST FROM YOUR GP
THERE’S A ROOM FULL OF PATIENTS, AND YOUR DOCTOR HAS APPOINTMENTS BACK-TO-BACK
– here’s how to get the most out of your consultation time with your GP…
1. WORK OUT WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO SAY… Use the first minute to outline your problems so your doctor can prioritise and structure your appointment. It’s natural to chat about a few health problems if you don’t see your GP often – and it’s good to give them a general overview of your health, but you’ll get more out of your appointment if you focus on one thing.
2. BE CONCISE AND WRITE A LIST OF SYMPTOMS… Talk through your list with your doctor and be prepared for your doctor’s questions. Think about how you’ve been feeling, when you’ve been feeling this way and how often. Don’t divert too much from your main ailment and keep your information concise. Your doctor will want to know all your symptoms and how severe they are so they can help you find the best medical treatment.
3. BE TOTALLY HONEST… Don’t hold back any information about your lifestyle – or be embarrassed to give all your symptoms, even if they are intimate. Remember your doctor would have seen and heard just about everything, so whatever you say is unlikely to shock them.
3. LISTEN CAREFULLY… It’s vital that you don’t interrupt your doctor while they give you their diagnosis – save your questions until they’ve finished. It’s also a good idea to jot down some notes to help you clarify anything with your doctor – like confusing medical jargon – when they have finished.
4. TAKE THE INITIATIVE… Use the end of your consultation to give your doctor to any information that you think might effect your treatment. Even though your doctor will have your file, do mention anything you think of that could be relevant to avoid complications later, like if you have any allergies, have stopped taking the Pill or are trying to get pregnant.