Good communication between you and your doctor is crucial to achieving your health goals.
Be prepared and organized when you go to your doctor's appointment. For your first appointment with your new doctor, bring a briefly-written and bulleted description of your medical history as well as a list of questions and concerns for this appointment and all subsequent ones.
The bulleted medical history should include:
- Previous doctors
- Dates and frequency of seizures
- Previous tests and results
- Brief details of any prior emergency situations
- Current and past medications
- Any side effects encountered
- Length of time using current medication(s)
Never leave your doctor's office without fully understanding your treatment program. An important element of each appointment is asking questions about the medications you have been prescribed and their potential side effects. If your doctor cannot clearly dictate the nature of these medications or the side effects, consult a nurse or a pharmacist as soon as possible. In addition, if the financial aspects of treatment are an issue, notify your doctor about the problem immediately so you can explore different options.
Doctors are ultimately responsible for providing you with the best possible care. The doctor's responsibilities include ordering tests and analyzing results; understanding and being aware of your concerns and wishes; being aware of your responses to certain drugs (good and bad); developing a proper treatment plan; prescribing medication; tracking your progress and coherently answering questions about the treatment plan.
Your time is also precious, and just as you should help make your doctor's job easier by being organized and prepared, your doctor should also make your life easier by being knowledgeable about your case, answering questions clearly and being as accessible as possible.