Do your homework before your next visit to the doctor

The current strain on the Canadian health-care system means there are fewer family doctors, specialists and nurse practitioners to assess and treat patients’ health concerns. Wait times for specialist appointments are increasing and less time is allotted in doctors’ offices to discuss treatment options, side effects and other medical considerations. The average doctor’s visit is six to 10 minutes.

With time at a premium, it’s more important than ever to be prepared for a doctor’s visit.

How to optimize your time with your health-care provider:

  • Prioritize your concerns and create a list of what you’d like to discuss.
  • Highlight new symptoms your doctor may not be aware of.
  • Be prepared for your doctor visit – have any medical tests scheduled ahead of your visit completed.
  • Avoid “Dr. Internet” and resist seeking information from medical resources that are outdated and from unknown sources or groups.
  • Take advantage of free resources from leading Canadian medical experts like digital health hub Care to Know for information on conditions such as type 2 diabetes, menopause, weight management or pain management. They deliver directly to your inbox.
  • Be your own advocate. Don’t be afraid to share what you’ve researched from trusted medical sources.
  • Talk to your doctor about new treatments and medications to learn if they are right for you.
  • Take notes, ask questions if you don’t understand and summarize what you learned before you leave.

Find more information about working with your health-care team and getting the most from your drug plan at caretoknow.ca

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