How To Advocate For Yourself During A Doctor’s Visit

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Whether you’re going in for an annual wellness exam, you’re having a new medical issue examined or you’re heading in for a rejuvenation session with the team at HyperCharge Clinic, you need to be the best advocate for your health. Your doctor will work to figure out what’s going on or how to help you make the most of your visit, but this won’t happen by accident. You can make this process a bit easier by being an advocate for your own health. In today’s blog, we share some tips on how you can advocate for your own health during your next doctor’s visit.

Advocating For Your Own Health

Doctors have a number of tools in their arsenal that can help them develop a diagnosis and treatment plan, but the best tool they have is the patient. By coming into their appointment prepared, you can be the strongest advocate for your health. Here are some simple ways to do just that:

  • Arrive A Little Early – Make sure that you arrive 10-15 minutes early for your appointment so that it’s less likely you’ll feel rushed because things are running behind. You can’t control the other patients and whether or not everything remains on schedule, but if you do your part to arrive early and come prepared, you can help ensure you (and everyone else) get the time you deserve with the physician.
  • Bring Questions – Come to your appointment with any questions that you’d like answered. You can also write out some questions if you arrive early and are waiting to be called back. Odds are you have some questions about your appointment or care, and your doctor will be more than willing to answer them to the best of their ability, but we can’t read minds, so bring your questions and ask them.
  • Write Down Symptoms – If you are visiting your doctor because of a new or recurrent issue, write down some of the symptoms you are experiencing. Be very specific about your symptoms, and consider documenting your issues in the days and weeks leading up to your appointment. That way instead of saying that you have knee pain, you can go into detail about the type of discomfort you’re experiencing, what actions make it worse or better, and how you’ve been trying to treat the issue. The more information your doctor has, the better.
  • Take Notes During The Visit – It may also be helpful to take some notes during your visit with the specialist. There can be a lot of information to take in during an exam, so make it simpler by writing down some key things that your doctor says during the appointment. Depending on your needs, you can also bring a friend or family member with you to act as a second set of ears and to take notes for you.
  • Trust Your Gut – If something just doesn’t seem right, speak up. You know your body or your child better than the doctor, and while we will do our best to provide the right diagnosis and treatment, many conditions present with similar symptoms. If you think there’s more to the story than what’s being discussed, don’t stay quiet. Calmly and thoughtfully explain why you think there may be more going on.
  • Pick The Right Provider – If you don’t feel like your provider is providing the best care for your situation, find someone else. You need to work with a physician who understands where you’re coming from and who is willing to put in the time to help you find the right type of treatment. Don’t settle for a provider who isn’t meeting your care needs.
  • Follow Through – Finally, if you want to help yourself get the right type of treatment, you need to be willing to commit to the provider’s recommended care plan. If they tell you to rest and then begin physical therapy exercises, but you return to your manual labor job the next day, odds are treatment won’t yield the best results. Prioritize your health by really committing to your treatment plan, and you’ll be the best type of advocate for your health.

Let us know how we can help you on your wellness journey. For more information, or for help with a different health concern, reach out to the team at HyperCharge Clinic today at (612) 440-0513.

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