Five Tips To Make Your Doctor’s Appointments More Productive

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Guide
  • When caring for a child with acid reflux, a doctor’s appointment can be a blessing, but it also can be a waste of valuable time if you are not prepared to make the most of it. Following are five simple steps that can greatly improve the productivity of these meetings of the minds.

    1) Come prepared with information.
    Since your job is to communicate as clearly as possible with the physician, objective information can be critical. Come ready to the appointment with a list of signs, symptoms, problems and observations of your child, including dates and times. This information can help focus the conversation and give the doctor valuable insights. They can also help direct the conversation in a useful direction.

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    2) Take a breath.
    If reflux is the issue with your child, you may be tired, stressed and short of patience. None of those will help make an appointment go better. When meeting with the doctor, try to be as collected as possible.

    3) Bring support.
    Bringing a second adult to the appointment can help in many ways. Not only is there some one to hold the child during the appointment, but that other person can also act as support for you.

    4) Take notes.
    Appointments are short, with the average doctor appointment being less than 15 minutes in length. A lot of information can pass during that time. Not only is it reasonable for you to take notes, it should be expected, by both you and the doctor.

    5) Connect after the appointment.
    It is reasonable to be able to communicate with your doctor, or his/her office, outside of appointments. Before you leave the appointment, determine what method of communication your doctor prefers.

    Some of our son’s doctors prefer to be called, others emailed, and some would rather receive a fax. Find out what works best for your doctor, and you, and then use that method when needed.

    Learn more about Tracy's second edition of her book, Making Life Better for a Child With Acid Reflux. This edition brings in the voices of six medical experts who provide up-to-date knowledge about acid reflux in babies and children.

    Click here for more step by step guides to managing infant acid reflux.

Published On: April 21, 2006