6 tips for making the most out of your doctors' visits
Visits to the doctor often offer a snapshot of our overall health at a given point in time. But whether we’re visiting a specialist routinely or just touching base with a primary care physician annually, it’s helpful to make the most of each of these appointments.
We put together some straightforward tips to help you prepare for your visit so you can better understand and follow through on any next steps.
Before your visit
Download Abridge. Visits are short, and it can be challenging to remember the key details. Abridge can help you keep a better record of your overall health and plan for next steps, so you can tune in to the conversation with your doctor and better listen to your body and your needs. Set a reminder to record within the app, and you'll receive a notification the day of your appointment.
Consider and track your symptoms. You’re the expert on how you feel. Bringing awareness to how you’re feeling and tracking your symptoms can provide a helpful record to discuss with your doctor.
Make a list of questions. We’ve all had the experience of remembering something to ask right as we leave an appointment, so we recommend coming in with a list of questions for your doctor. Some things you might ask — or questions to get you thinking — include:
- Who is on my care team?
- What is my treatment plan?
- What are the side effects of my treatment?
- Who do I call if I have a non-emergency need?
During your visit
Update your care team on your medical history. It’s helpful to bring your care team up to speed on any changes since your last appointment — things like medications, conditions, or treatments you’ve started since your last appointment. If you’ve been using Abridge, you can look back on your recordings for a refresher on this, too.
Tap record. To capture all the details of your care and make it easier to focus on your conversation, you can record your doctor’s visit using Abridge. After your appointment, we’ll automatically summarize your key takeaways so it’s easier to understand and follow through on any next steps. You can also ask your doctor to summarize key next steps, and Abridge will make it easy to see these points at-a-glance, whether it’s a change to a prescription or a need to schedule a follow-up appointment.
Make yourself heard. This is sometimes easier said than done, but clear communication is key to your doctor’s ability to care for you. And it’s a lot easier to feel confident about next steps by making sure you feel heard. Raise questions, ask about follow-ups, and advocate for yourself like you might for a friend.
Ultimately, whatever makes it easier for you to maximize time with your provider and gain a better understanding of your care in turn makes it easier to follow through. What tips do you have for getting the most out of an appointment, and beyond? As always, we’d love to hear from you — reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.