As I spend some time today helping a client prepare for her physician appointment tomorrow, I find myself reflecting on a topic that is not often talked about.
You see, I, like you, expect my physician to read my chart before he or she comes in the room. I expect my medication list to be accurate, my allergies to be listed and in plain sight, and my previous concerns outlined with a plan of action. But, what's our role as patients in this journey? Are we expecting this of our medical team while doing nothing to help them in return? Are we not taking a minute to realize the volume of patients they will see in a given day and the importance of our preparedness to help them make our visit efficient and productive?
We prepare for so many meetings in our lives that we deem important. From college admission interviews to job interviews and meetings with our supervisors, we feel the need to prepare. However, when it comes to our medical appointments that deal with our greatest wealth, our health, we rarely spend the time necessary in advance. How can we expect an error-free, highly productive visit with our physician if we don't have any information to help him or her put the puzzle pieces of our journey together? How can we expect our medication list to be accurate if we barely know what we take or when we take it? How can we expect a treatment plan if we can't provide a detailed history of our journey?
Prepare for your appointments. I promise the gap between your expectations and reality will quickly close in with this simple step.