I was rounding up my visit with Danielle (not real name) where we had touched on a lot of health issues bothering her.

We even managed to discuss the stress she was going through with the new supervisor at work.

I reach for the door handle and briefly glanced back to make sure that the computer had been logged off; patient privacy is not to be taken lightly these days.

I swing the door open when Danielle says “wait! I have one more question for you”. There we go again! I knew that second that I would be running late for my other appointments that day.

You have face time with your doctor and you should make the most of this opportunity but the tactic of “saving the best for last” will short- change you.

Instead of a skilled professional offering his or her expertise and opinion, you get a harried medical provider who is half listening to you while ferociously plotting how fast he or she would zoom out of the room to meet with the next patient.

To get the most from your next clinic visit, do yourself and your doctor a favor by using the 5 tips below:

1. Make a list of issues and concerns you want to bring up ahead of time.

2. On that list highlight 2-3 issues you would want addressed if time was in short supply.

3. Arrive for your appointment early so you can have time for filling out forms and intake of your medical history.

4. Bring up your most important questions early on.

5. If your doctor’s office offers digital communication via email or text, take advantage of it for the less urgent concerns you have in between visits.

Do not overwhelm them with questions though. I am yet to meet anyone who enjoys being slammed with emails.


About the author


Dr. Bola

Family physician. Works for the "man" by day, wife & mom 24/7.
Loves the work of translating "medicalese" to plain english.


Leave a Comment