Getting the Most out of a Consultation
In Great Britain, patients on average have just seven minutes with their GP. The BMA's Doctor Patient Partnership offers the following advice to help you use this time effectively:
Make a list of any questions / problems you wish to discuss beforehand.
Take a pen and paper as you may want to note down important points.
Wear loose clothing if it is likely you will need to be examined.
Be prepared to tell your doctor of any non-prescription medicines or supplements you are taking.
You can bring someone with you for support.
During The Appointment:
Don't be afraid to ask questions.
If you don't understand, ask your doctor to repeat it or write it down.
If you are prescribed a drug, make sure you know why it has been given to you, how long to take it for etc. Remember pharmacists are experts in medication and a very useful source of advice.
Be direct. If you have a problem you find embarrassing or difficult to talk about, don't leave it to the end of the appointment before mentioning it. Remember your problem is likely to be a common one for your GP, who is there to help you.
One problem at a time:
If you have several problems, it is more effective in the long run, to concentrate on just one problem during the consultation than to have to rush through a list of problems. Be prepared to make another appointment, so that each problem can be given the time it needs to be sorted out.
Be on Time:
Be on time for your appointment, or inform the surgery as soon as possible if you are likely to be late or need to cancel.
Make a separate appointment for each member of the family.
Under 14 Year Olds:
Accompany under 14 year olds. If however, a young person strongly wishes to be treated without his/her parent's involvement, his/her confidentiality will be respected.