• The Age-Appropriate Doctor’s Appointment: Making the Most of It, Part VII

    Posted on December 8, 2010 by in Tip of the Week

    Welcome to Part VII of our series brought to you by Mark Lachs, MD, Author of Treat Me, Not My Age: A Doctor’s Guide to Getting the Best Care as You or a Loved One Gets Older

    Get a specific follow-up plan. At the end of the visit, you should leave with several “action items” that need to be followed up on. These could be blood tests or X-rays, a referral to another doc, or a change of medication. Go over with your doctor what’s going to happen and when once you walk out the door. Example: “So I’m going to get an MRI of my head for these headaches. Will you be calling me with the results even if they’re normal, or should I call you?” Or: “So I start taking the medication for my knee arthritis tomorrow. When should I come back to see you to assess whether or not it’s been effective?” Or: “Will you be calling Dr. Jones, the lung doctor, to explain why you’re sending me?” Again, getting the follow-up plan clear and setting expectations goes a long way toward avoiding miscommunication and trouble down the road.