Going to the doctor probably isn’t on your list of hobbies, but since there’s virtually a 100% chance you’ll end up in a physician’s office at some point in your life, you might as well make the most of your time there. But once you’ve made an appointment, left work, and read National Geographic magazines from the ‘70s, how do you know you’re ready for the moment of truth?
We asked some docs about the mistakes that people make before, during, and after they come in for a checkup -- and how to optimize those precious few minutes you get with a real, live physician.
Not treating your choice of doctor as though your life depends on it
The number one thing that can make going to the doctor better is choosing one you like, which takes some time and research. That sucks, but being sick and desperate for a prescription sucks worse.
“Picking a doctor should be like picking a sherpa,” says Dr. Adnan Khera of Tufts Medical Center in Boston. Sherpas are pretty important! You want someone you trust and can develop a good rapport with. And be honest with yourself: gender may be a legitimate factor (if you're a dude who doesn't want to tell a lady doc about an issue down there, that's not going to work, and vice versa). Get recommendations from people you trust (i.e., take Yelp with a grain of salt), and if you don't jive with someone, don’t hesitate to make a change.