If you just got bad news, doctor’s appointments can be countless,
intimidating, frustrating, overwhelming
and confusing. Preparing for your appointment is important and will save
you money. Here is a growing list of our suggestions and tips to prepare:
What to take
all copies of the test results
- A list
medications both pharmaceutical and homeopathic,
dosages, both the generic and the company names
experience of side effects from these medications
refills you will need or TARS you will need to have signed
your MRI report highlighting everything you want explained
a list of questions (see examples below)
knowledge that not knowing is actually scarier than knowing
summarized version of your understanding of the technique or treatment you
trusted friend who can take good notes, bonus points for somebody who has
either experienced what you are going through or works in the medical
recording device – make sure to ask the doctor about recording anything.
If you face resistance use wording like “I am so overwhelmed every time I
come in here and our time together is so important to me that I thought
taping our session would help me focus more on answering your questions
during our session”
written update of your symptoms with a copy for the doctor that you hand
to her/him after you go over them
- A copy
of this sheet so you can refer to this advice
While in your meeting
keeping the doctor “in there” with you aside and make finishing your you’re
your goal, you will have follow up questions
the doctor to run down the laymen version of your test results if
necessary use wording like “I really want to understand” and “if you go
can we set up another appointment”?
- Ask the
doctor to describe the technique
down the location of the procedure
is okay to ask secondary questions in the meeting based on information you
are given such as: what do cranial nerves 9, 10, 11 affect? Or what is
micro-vascular ischemic disease? Even if your list is long keep asking.
Questions to ask
during a doctor’s appointment
We suggest you leave space for your answers
does my insurance affect my
are my next tests?
can I get a second opinion? You can ask this in a more subtle way by
asking “who in this area is most knowledgeable about these particular
types of tumors”?
- What technique
will you be using?
is your experience with this technique?
there a choice in locations for the surgery?
big is it in terms of: width x length x circumference.
be afraid to turn on the tape recorder and ask questions like: explain
“bilobed extra-axial” “maximal craniocaudal dimension” and “transverse
section”. Then explain extra-axial and intra-axial, hyper-intesnse.
exactly is it physically? Point to your
head for example.
close is it to the brainstem?
close to the left vertebral artery?
often do I repeat MRI to check progress?
big would it need to get before surgery or radiation is necessary?
does medicare only affect my treatment options?
can you definitely know it’s not benign?
you be taking a biopsy? Is it in a
place where a biopsy can be done?
lymph nodes be checked?
symptoms should I be watching for?
- Can I
Let the Dr. know if you are living with constant discomfort
or pain. Take time to absorb what you
have heard. Tell the story to family and friends. If repetition exhausts you try to tell people
Use this list with your completed answers to refer to when
telling people like family or friends.
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