Making the most of a visit to a general practitioner, or a GP, feels either too tedious or rushed. On average, doctors can only look into patients in less than ten minutes. In that limited time the doctor must be able to diagnose your ailment and prescribe the necessary treatment.
To make the most out of that time, there are some simple guidelines to follow before visiting a doctor. These tips will save you time.
#1 Be as straightforward as you can
To treat an illness, the doctor must know precisely what you feel, where, and when it started. Do not complain, for instance, of a minor cramp in your foot when you feel another (or worse) condition. Likewise, if you are in the clinic for a follow-up and the doctor asks how have you been feeling after taking the medicines he prescribed. Answer truthfully, so he would know if he had made the proper diagnosis.
#2 Turning up is better than phoning in
Asking for an appointment lessens the chances of gaining it, especially when the doctor is quite in demand. In fact, RoC Private Clinic in Harley Street often advises patients to show up in person instead, as this will prioritise them over appointments made via the phone.
#3 Know what a GP can and cannot do
A GP is essentially a doctor who is a jack-of-all-trades. General practitioners approach medical issues in a holistic manner, taking into account the lifestyle of the patient in their diagnosis. Because of their broad field, you cannot expect them to do highly specific procedures such as retinal surgery or dentistry. If you are unsure, it is a useful idea to know about the doctor beforehand.
#4 Look up your symptoms online
Speaking of research, some doctors even recommend browsing your symptoms on the Internet. This will save your GP time in figuring out what ails you, especially if you have generic symptoms like muscle pain and signs of flu. Do not research too much, though, as it will unnecessarily frighten you.
Of course, there are other more specific principles when visiting a doctor, but these are some of the most common that medical specialists advise their patients. Visiting a GP need not become a stressful episode, as long as you practice good sense.