Be your own patient advocate, says Dr. Vishal Mehta. Often, the interaction between physician and patient is not as efficient as it could be.
(PRWEB) January 31, 2013
Some people leave their doctors’ offices feeling confused and frustrated because, they say, their time runs out before they’re able to talk over their problem. Dr. Vishal M. Mehta, an orthopedic surgeon at Fox Valley Orthopedics, says a little pre-appointment preparation can help both you and your physician feel as though appointment time is always well spent.
“Be your own patient advocate,” says Dr. Mehta. “Often, the interaction between physician and patient is not as efficient as it could be. But when patients do a bit of pre-appointment planning, it enables us to really get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time.”
The average appointment time in any physician’s office runs around ten minutes, so it’s vital to learn how to make the most of this time. Dr. Mehta suggests sitting down the day before an appointment and making a list of all the problems you want to discuss.
Next, narrow the list down to one or two issues, preferably just one. And finally, make a list of the specific details about the problem that bothers you the most:
- List the number one issue – i.e. my hip hurts.
- Describe where it hurts.
- Describe what the pain feels like.
- Note what makes the pain feel worse.
- Note what makes the pain feel better.
- Describe how long the problem has been going on.
- Explain what initially triggered the problem.
- Describe what you have done, if anything, about the problem so far (i.e. provide a list of any medications and their dosages and/or a list of exercises or therapies you’ve undertaken to try to get relief).
“If you have several issues, make separate appointments for each problem,” says Dr. Mehta. “A fresh interaction with your physician for each issue is more helpful than trying to cram everything into one appointment.”
Additional tips from Dr. Mehta:
- Ask for a longer appointment if you think you may need it.
- Schedule multiple appointments to cover multiple issues.
- Wear loose clothing, to facilitate an examination.
- Bring a list of your symptoms.
- Be honest about your problem…the quality of your diagnosis and care depends on it.
- Be specific about your problem and tell the doctor what you think he or she needs to know.
- Take notes and ask questions.
- Don’t be shy…If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification.
- Ask what to expect from your treatment.
- Ask your physician for reading material recommendations regarding your condition.
- Other members of your physician’s team are a valuable resource…talk to them.
For more information on Dr. Mehta and his work visit http://www.fvortho.com/fvo-physicians/all-physicians/vishal-m-mehta-md/
ABOUT FOX VALLEY ORTHOPEDICS (FVO)
FVO was founded in 1973 in Geneva, Illinois for the purpose of providing exceptional comprehensive orthopedic care in an environment that puts patients first. FVO provides a vast range of bone and joint surgery and care through its advanced imaging, sports medicine, and ambulatory surgery centers. Dedicated to the community, Fox Valley Orthopedics provides team physicians to many local high schools, and is the official team physician group for the Kane County Cougars. The practice serves communities throughout Chicago with offices in Geneva and Elgin. For more information, go to http://www.fvortho.com.