Even routine doctors appointments can be stressful, overwhelming, and confusing. Coming prepared with the information, resources, and comforts you need can help reduce anxiety and allow you to get the most out of your appointment. Here are the essential things I recommend bringing to your next appointment.
1. Your Medical History and Supplemental Information
It’s extremely important to have a 1-2 page medical history, not just for appointments, but for emergencies too! You should have an easy-to-read, concise medical history with you at all times, and especially with you when you go to appointments. You can find a guide on how to create your medical history here.
In addition to your medical history, you can also bring supplemental information like blood test results, past scans, and specialized test results. If you have a complex or chronic illness, you may have pages and pages (or even boxes and boxes) of test results, so try to just bring the most relevant ones. If there is a lot of information, you could also consider only giving the doctor what items they ask for.
You can also bring notes that will help you stay on track at your appointment. I like to have a paper with the top 1-3 issues I want to discuss and a list of any questions I want to ask.
2. Snacks and Something to Drink
Even if you expect it to be a quick appointment, you may want to consider bringing something to eat and drink. You never know when a doctor will be running late or when you’ll need a little snack. Getting the best out of your appointment includes feeling as comfortable as possible. Take good care of yourself!
3. Something to Help Pass the Time
If you are like me, being bored is even worse than being hungry or thirsty! That 45 minute wait when your doctor is running late is going to feel a whole lot worse if you don’t have a book to read, or your knitting to work on, or a game to play on your phone.
If appointments cause anxiety, this is especially important. It’s so much better to have something else to focus on while you wait.
4. Your Datebook/Calendar
Some offices can be difficulty to get a hold of once you leave. By having your calendar or datebook with you, you can schedule the next appointment in person.
5. Something to Take Notes With
“I’ll remember,” is the most common lie I tell myself. And even when I do remember, it still puts a larger mental load on me. Why not give my brain a break and leave the data storing up to my notes instead?
It’s important to have a place to write down important information like the names of specialists your doctor recommends, treatment instructions, or what your next steps are.
Taking notes can also help you stay focused and organized during the appointment so you don’t miss anything important.
Bring these 5 things to your next doctors appointment and enjoy a less stressful and more comfortable experience!
Have any other recommendations? Leave a comment to share your ideas!