Be Prepared for Your Visit
10 Tips to Make the Most of Your Appointment
The health care team at the FMTU are here to help. However, we also believe that patients and doctors/NP/RN must work as a team, so it is also the patient’s responsibility to take care of their health.
Please be on time.
Appointment times are only about 15 min, and doctors are often running very busy with their schedules, so it’s important for you to be prepared for your visit. This will help you and your doctor meet your health care needs. If you’re late for your appointment, you may not be seen as the doctor has already run off to see the next patient.
Bring your list of questions and concerns to discuss.
Our memory often fails us, so bring a list so you leave the clinic knowing you talked about everything that you wanted to talk about.
A doctor’s visit is generally for 1-2 problems. Let’s say you booked an appointment for a Pap test, we can still chat about contraception and STI prevention, but we can’t talk about work stress and your children’s vaccines as well. These are important issues that need adequate time to thoroughly address.
Lead with the important stuff.
Discuss the most important things at the beginning of your visit. Remember appointments are short, and if you bring up the most important topic at the end, it will stress out both you and your doctor, because the doctor may feel like he/she doesn’t have enough time to talk about this topic.
Bring all of your medications in their original containers.
Medication errors can cause you harm. At your visit, bring any new medications — including over the counter medications (non-prescription)— you’ve been using, and any new ones prescribed to you by any other doctors, i.e specialists. Also, often what your doctor prescribes is changed to an alternative medicine covered by your drug insurance. This change is important for your doctor to know.
Get your tests done before your appointment.
If you were told by your doctor to do tests, blood work, ultrasounds, or scans, get them done well before your appointment. Depending on the test, we receive the results generally in 2 to 7 days. This is out of our control and without the test results, the visit cannot be productive.
Share your family health history.
Sharing your family health history helps your doctor assess your risk of certain diseases.
Work as a team.
It can be frustrating and worrisome when things are unclear about your health. It is important to us that you understand what is happening with your health. Frequently, additional testing is required to determine what is going on with your health. Please ask for clarification and we will do our best to help you understand what is going on. Remember that patients and doctors need to work as a team.
Our healthcare system is very complex, and resources are in high demand. We do our best to accommodate your needs. We understand that you may want to talk to your doctor right away. Depending on the demand from other patients, non-urgent appointments may be a wait-time of 2-4 weeks.
Relax and be honest.
Some patients can be a little nervous when they come into the doctor’s office. This is totally normal. Remember we are here to help. Also, be honest, feel comfortable to talk about anything to your doctor- your visits are confidential. Leaving out details can be dangerous for your health. So be honest with your doctor and take care of your health.
When You Arrive…
- At each visit, meet with one of our receptionists. Tell them your name, reason for appointment, and which provider you are seeing. Our priority is ensuring that patients receive safe and accurate care, so you will need to confirm your identity and contact information at each visit.
- The receptionist will then advise you to sit in the waiting room.
- If you are meeting with a full-time doctor, a nurse will come take you to get your vitals checked, such as, height, weight, blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and they may or may not ask you for a urine test, depending on the nature of your visit. If you are a diabetic, the nurses may perform a foot assessment. Most referrals for investigations or consultations require updated vitals.
- If you are here to meet with a resident, the resident will come and take you instead.
- After your vitals are checked, you will be taken to an exam room, where you will have your appointment with either a full-time doctor, NP or a resident, depending on who you booked your appointment with.
- Book your next appointment, as necessary, before leaving the office.