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How To Maximize Limited Time With Your Doctor

Be Sure You Understand What The Doctor Tells You

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An easy method to be sure you understand

Repeat what you think the doctor means in your own words and then ask a question to confirm you understand, such as: "Is this correct?"

Record the meeting

Experience has shown that it is helpful to record what happens at your appointments.

  • You can replay the conversation later to be sure there isn't anything you missed or didn't understand.
  • Recording devices are inexpensive. You may even be able to make a recording on your mobile phone.
  • Recording works particularly well if you want to share the details you've learned with others.
  • Ask the doctor's permission before making a recording. 

If you don't take a recording device,or if the doctor doesn't allow you to make a recording: you can take notes or ask the doctor to write down the main points for you. If you can't write while the doctor is talking to you, make notes in the waiting room after the visit. 

If you want more information

Ask for written or recorded materials such as brochures, DVDs, CDs, cassettes or videotapes. If the doctor doesn't have the materials on hand, ask the doctor to recommend other sources of information for lay people (non-professionals).

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