How to get the best value out of your neuro / medical visits

I was sitting in the over crowded, very hot waiting room of a large city hospital waiting for my neurologist appointment a few weeks ago, listening to the conversations that people strike up during their long wait. Many of the people waiting had come in from regional centres around spent up to 4 or five hours driving. I'm lucky, I live only a few miles from the place. But a similar issue was being discussed amongst a few folk on how to get the most value out of their appointment, which got me to wondering - if we were to create a list of how to get the best out of your doctor, what would you all recommend? Is there anything that has worked for you particularly that you'd could pass on to others?

For me, because I'm increasingly forgetful - I keep a notebook on my fridge, and if something happens, or I think of a question, I'll capture it on the note book and take it to the appointment with me.

Sometimes, just reading through the list, helps me remember what I want to get out of the next appointment.

Does anyone else have any useful tips? It would be great if we could get list together, particularly for newly diagnosed folk.. or those who don't feel they're getting traction with their own health team.

All the best

Smiley :)

Hi Smiley,

Your notebook idea is absolutely fabulous! I am a retired emergency room physician but was previously in private practice. I always appreciated it when people came in with a written list of questions, symptoms, or other information. The patients had a much more productive visit and didn't get home only to remember things that they had wanted to say but had forgotten to mention. I always advised patients to keep a list of things they wanted to talk about and bring it in so that they wouldn't forget. It also saved on extraneous phone calls to ask those things that they forgot to ask. Invariably, when the doctor walks in, the patient's mind goes blank and they forget everything they wanted to say and they just say everything is fine. I know, because this happens to me too if I go to the doctor without a list!!! I think that this is one of the best things you can do to make your doctor visit more productive. Thanks Smiley for bringing this up.


Thank you Rudianne :)

I find that having a small notebook in my purse is helpful for organizing my thoughts prior my appointment as well as making notes during my visit. I find that it’s easy to forget things the Dr said, this way I have a record I can go over.

That's a great idea hmschmom - its easy to forget things, especially when they can cover so much in a short space of time.:)

I started making lists when I lost my voice due to it being too painful to speak. I'd say at least 50 percent of people assumed I was had some kind of psychological reason for writing and not speaking.

When I got medications that helped me get my voice back, the lists became a universally good thing to help reinforce and organize the message. People hear your voice, and magically you're less crazy even if the written content in the note is identical.

Kuchak it can be frustrating at times, a lot of folk here have experienced these challenges of it being perceived as in the mind rather than a reflection of the physiology of the condition. I think the lists are a great idea, but when you can't talk - and I get that sometimes with the TN - it just plain hurts too much - it might be easier for you to take someone you trust who can speak for you. That's sometimes a good idea if you know the drugs are creating foggy brain or confusion too. I know not everyone is in that position, but if you do have someone, it may be worth considering in the future.. :)