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How to Be an Organized Patient

By Jennifer Snyder
Going to visit the doctor can be intimidating – especially if you try to make the most of your time with your doctor.  Albeit, when you don't feel well it is difficult to have everything together but getting into the habit of being prepared is the ideal way to be a good patient.

Here is what you need to bring with you:

  • A list of topics you would like to discuss.  You can keep a list on the refrigerator or in the Notes app of your smart phone.

  • If you have specific, on-going ailments, bring a log of your symptoms and when you are having them including time of day, in relation to eating and exercising, etc.

  • Bring something to write on.  Doctors give you a lot of information in a short period of time.  Don't rely on your memory and even more so if you are under the weather or fretting about a child or loved one that is sick.  Ask questions if the doc says something you don't understand.  Google is great for information but a poor substitute for a human being with whom you have a relationship.  They are there to help you, ask for the help and explanations you need.

If you think of questions after your visit, you can usually call to leave a message for the nurse to call you back.  It goes without saying that you should trust your doctor and his/her nurse.  You will most likely speak to the nurse far more often than the doc himself so get to know them – well.

I found a handy Doctor Visit Preparation form that you can print on demand and it is free.  You can access it at www.freeprintablemedicalforms.com.  Search Doctor Visit Preparation Form and you can download it to your computer to print anytime.  It can be customized for a small fee.

I would also recommend keeping a file for copies of these of these forms for each family member.  This can be simply labeled "Medical".  Having them will help you identify trends and frequency of conditions (think ear infections) and be an informed patient.

Have a Neat day and Stay Well!

Jennifer Snyder, Certified Professional Organizer
Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts
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