- Take detailed notes and consider bringing a friend or relative (particularly important if major disease and related treatment options being discussed)
- Ask doctors to repeat what you’ve told them, to make sure they hear new (never thought of this but I am a great fan of ‘playback’ in general as a way to ensure understanding)
- Tell your doctor what’s important to you, and speak up if not addressed
- Make sure your doctor knows about the care provided by others
- Ensure test result follow-up
- Ask your doctor for recommended preventative screenings, tests and vaccines (and recognize that the guidelines change periodically)
- Do some basic research on your condition(s) to help you understand what the doctor is telling you and help you formulate questions
- Be nice and courteous to the doctor and his or her staff – we are all human, and one can be an active and engaged patient and strong advocate for what one needs, but with warmth and respect.