Strategy and Planning, City of HopeFollow this author
Time yourself as you get ready for bed tonight—including how long it takes to change into your pajamas, wash your face, brush your teeth, etc. Statistics indicate that the time you spend as part of your nightly routine might be longer than your next visit to the physician. Specifically, a study in 2013 revealed that newer physicians spend an average of eight minutes with a patient. Perhaps you can attest to this reality, and have experienced the feeling of just walking into a physician’s office when the visit is already over.
While healthcare access is expanding as part of healthcare reform, we can likely expect our time with physicians to decrease to accommodate the patient load. Thus, now more than ever, it is of utmost importance to make the most of your time with your physician. Remember, they are here to serve you.
Here are a few tips to assist you during your next physician visit and maximize your time together:
After your initial visit, you might be asked to return as it is common practice for a physician to schedule a follow-up appointment with a patient to assess how treatment is going and/or if the illness has fully improved. While it may be inconvenient to return to the physician’s office, follow-up care is important because it helps to identify changes in health. Please be encouraged to go to this appointment, even if you feel as if you have fully recovered, and once again follow the tips listed previously.
There is truth behind the Spanish saying “visita de doctor”—which is a lighthearted jester to signify you are going to a certain place for a very brief period of time. However, while this saying is rooted in some truth, you can still make the best of your visit and leave the physician’s office satisfied and informed.