10 minutes

You have 10 minutes with your doctor

Are you prepared?
  • Know what to bring
  • Know what to ask
  • Maximize the quality of every doctor consultation
A good patient - doctor relationship is a partnership. You and your doctor can work as a team. Taking an active role in your health means that you are responsible for good communication between you and your doctor. This means you must ask questions or bring up problems even if the doctor doesn't ask. Learn how to let the doctor know if you have concerns about a particular treatment or change in your daily life

Unsure how to communicate with your doctor?

We created free medical forms following our latest poll showing that 65 % percent of people asked do little or no preparation before visiting the doctor. Complete these forms to take with you to your next medical appointment. Learn how to prepare yourself to make the most use of your 10 minutes with your doctor. Compliments of eHealth Forum. Here for you 24/7.

Printable Medical Forms

Free medical forms online: OFFICE VISIT - This form serves as a reminder of what you need to bring, goals for the appointment, questions for the doctor, and what steps you need to take next. It's the must-have guideline for any appointment.

Free medical form templates: CHECKLIST - Your doctor may want to know health and lifestyle changes since your last appointment. This form helps you become aware of and record health changes to prepare for your doctor's office visit.

Free printable medical forms: MEDICATIONS - You may be taking many different medicines, numerous vitamins and over-the counter drugs. It can be confusing to keep track of everything! This form can help.
Tip #1 Doctor's visit basics

Consider bringing a family member or friend to take notes
Let your family member or friend know in advance what you want from your visit. Your companion can remind you what you planned to discuss with the doctor if you forget, she or he can take notes for you, and can help you remember what the doctor said.

Take information with you - Some doctors suggest you put all your prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal remedies or supplements in a bag and bring them with you. Others recommend you bring a list of everything you take. You should also take your insurance cards, names, and phone numbers of other doctors you see, and your medical records if the doctor doesn't already have them.
Tip #2: Meeting a new doctor

First name or last name - When you see the doctor and office staff, introduce yourself and let them know by what name you like to be called. For example: "Hello, my name is Mrs. Jones." or "Good morning, my name is Bob Smith. Please call me Bob."

Ask how the office runs - Learn what days are busiest and what times are best to call. Ask what to do if there is an emergency, or if you need a doctor when the office is closed.

Share your medical history - Tell the doctor about your illnesses, operations, medical conditions, and other doctors you see. You may want to ask the doctor to send you a copy of the medical history form before your visit so you can fill it out at home where you have the time and information you need to complete it. If you have problems understanding how to fill out any of the forms, ask for help. Some community organizations provide this kind of help.

Share former doctors' names - Give the new doctor all of your former doctors' names and addresses, especially if they are in a different city. This is to help your new doctor get copies of your medical records. Your doctor will ask you to sign a medical release form giving him or her permission to request your records.
Tip #3: Making good use of time at the doctor's office

Be honest - It is tempting to say what you think the doctor wants to hear: for example, that you smoke less or eat a more balanced diet than you really do. While this is natural, it's not in your best interest. Your doctor can suggest the best treatment only if you say what is really going on. For instance, you might say: "I have been trying to quit smoking, as you recommended, but I am not making much headway."

Decide what questions are most important - Pick three or four questions or concerns that you most want to talk about with the doctor. You can tell him or her what they are at the beginning of the appointment, and then discuss each in turn. If you have time, you can then go on to other questions.

Stick to the point - Although your doctor might like to talk with you at length, each patient is given a limited amount of time. To make the best use of your time, stick to the point. For instance, give the doctor a brief description of the symptom, when it started, how often it happens, and if it is getting worse or better.

Share your point of view about the visit - Tell the doctor if you feel rushed, worried, or uncomfortable. If necessary, you can offer to return for a second visit to discuss your concerns. Try to voice your feelings in a positive way. For example, you could say something like: "I know you have many patients to see, but I'm really worried about this. I'd feel much better if we could talk about it a little more."

Remember, the doctor may not be able to answer all your questions - Even the best doctor may be unable to answer some questions. Most doctors will tell you when they don't have answers. They also may help you find the information you need or refer you to a specialist. If a doctor regularly brushes off your questions or symptoms as simply a part of aging, think about looking for another doctor.