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During an Appointment With a Health Professional

To get the most out of an appointment with your health professional:

  • Listen carefully to what your health professional says. Make sure you understand what you are told about any diagnosis or treatment.
  • Ask questions. If you don't understand something your health professional says, ask for it to be repeated in a different way.
  • Be honest. If your values, beliefs, fears, or concerns may interfere with a treatment that is suggested, talk with your health professional about it. Other treatment options may be available.
  • Take an advocate. Have a family member or friend with you during your appointment, if possible. That person can take notes, ask questions to clarify information, and help you remember what your health professional says.
  • Ask for instructions. Before leaving your health professional's office, make sure you know what you are supposed to do to care for yourself. Ask for written information or instructions.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Last Revised May 27, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 27, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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