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How to prepare for a visit with your PD doctor
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DUKE MEDICINE
Mark A Stacy, MD posted:
Communication is the key to any successful visit with the doctor. As a patient, even though I am a doctor in other settings, I have experienced leaving a doctor visit, thinking - I did not get my question asked, or even worse, I did not remember what the doctor told me...

As a doctor, here are some tips that may be helpful to all.

First is to be prepared. Make a list of questions or concerns about any symptom. Then prioritize them, and review (or maybe even rehearse) them with a friend or loved one.

Second: give the doctor an out as you begin to ask your questions. For example if you say, "Doctor, I know we do not have much time, and I have 10 questions. If there is nothing to do about one of my concerns, just say pass, and we will move on to the next," it let's me off the hook about things not related to your PD. More importantly, it let's me try to help you on a symptom that I may be able to do something about. Remember, at the core Doctors are service providers, and we do like to think we have made a difference.

Third: Have a list - typed! - of your medicines with the dosage, number of tablets and times of day you take them, and whether you need refills of your prescriptions. A doctor can often be writing these while listening to your concerns, and then will not save time at the end of a visit to write them - that will give you more "real time" in the meeting.

Fourth: Take someone with you to listen. If your companion can be your advocate - and not take over your visit - educate him or her to reasons you are asking a question, in order to ask a follow-up. You may be trapped in the polite listening mode, and not be able to do so.

Fifth: do not take all the time with questions. The doctor does need to examine you, and may have other issues that he or she would like to address.
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
Great tips! And, frankly, help to all almost no matter what condition is the issue.

Thanks, Dr. Stacy.
 
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DUKE MEDICINE
Mark A Stacy, MD replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thanks, Caprice!


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