While there are no lifetime guarantees, enough scientific research has been done to make long, healthy living a possibility. In order to make full use of this information, we encourage women to take charge of their health. Women need to work in partnership with their health care providers by finding out their family medical history, educating themselves on health issues, and paying attention to their bodies.
Clear effective communication is the key to a satisfying visit with your doctor. Your health is your responsibility. As a woman you will likely make use of the medical system more often than men for one reason or another. You can have a rewarding doctor’s visit if you plan for it. Before your next doctor’s visit, prepare. Do not assume your doctor knows what is going on inside your mind or body.
• Gather as many facts about why you are going and write them down. Write down when the symptoms first began, what set them off, what you were doing when they first began, and any remedies you may have tried to bring some relief.
• Ask yourself, “Why am I going to see my doctor?” What do you want to learn or know at the end of the visit? List at least three main questions you want to discuss with your doctor and start with them. Ask the most important questions first – don’t leave them to the last when there is little time left to discuss them.
• If possible bring a partner or significant person with you to your appointments. They can help you remember what was discussed and also help you focus on why you are at the doctor’s office. Decide which one of you will be the main speaker.
• Ask for extra time with your doctor. When you book your appointment, tell the receptionist that you would like to talk with your doctor and ask for extra time to be booked. You know your body better than anyone else. Listen to what your body is telling you. Become more knowledgeable about your own and your family’s medical history.