The Reliance GP Blog

Get more out of your GP consultation
Missy Tysoe June 2, 2016

Get more out of your GP consultation: What to do before, during and after your appointment.

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Doctor consultations can help you achieve important health objectives. Like the dentist, many people may get nervous before seeing their doctor, and when their name is called all the important questions they had to ask goes out the window. The more effectively you communicate with your Doctor, the more they will be able to pin-point any problems or diagnoses, and customise your treatment.

Follow these simple steps to get the most out of your GP Consultation.

 

  1. Book the right kind of appointment

Call reception on 02 4304 1333 or use our 24/7 online booking system. Allow enough time to address your concerns and request a longer appointment if you have multiple concerns you wish to discuss. View profiles on our Reliance doctors and their specialties here.

 

Note you will need to make separate appointments for additional family members.

 

  1. Write a list

Make a list of any questions / problems you wish to discuss beforehand. Order your priorities in order of urgency.

Sometimes when you get caught up in explaining one thing, you might forget to ask your doctor an important question. Take the list with you to your appointment and tick them off as you go.

Tackle one problem at a time-If you have several problems it is more effective in the long run to concentrate on just one problem during the consultation than to have to rush through a list of problems. Be prepared to make another appointment so that each problem can be given the time it needs to be sorted out.

 

  1. Be prepared

Take a pen & paper as you may want to note down important points.

Wear loose clothing if it’s likely you will need to be examined.

Be prepared to tell your doctor of any non-prescription medicines or supplements you are taking.

 

  1. Be punctual

Be on time for your appointment, or inform the practice as soon as possible, if you wish to cancel your appointment. Reliance has a convenient reminder system in the form of a sms message sent to patients the day prior reminding them of key appointment information.

 

For directions to the practices click here, on arrival as you check in, the self-check in unit will inform you of what level your doctors is located.

 

  1. Take any documents you may need

Remember to bring with you your Medicare card, concession, health fund card, test results, x-rays, referrals, list of current medications , any other items useful for our visit.

 

  1. Take someone with you

If you are anxious, uncertain that you will retain all the information the doctors provides, underage or just feeling very ill and need someone there with you who cares, feel free to bring a family member, friend or other support figure with you to the appointment.

You can then talk to them afterwards and tell them what you gained from the visit – it can be a lot to take in, they can help you remember and reassure you.

 

  1. Be open and honest

The Doctor is there to help you, hiding information you are embarrassed about could get in the way of identifying the diagnoses and treatment. Our doctors are professionals you can trust and they have a lot of experience dealing with a variety of behaviours– be open about any sexual health, drug or alcohol use, physical abuse or domestic violence, smoking habits, forgetting your medication, diet, exercise etc. The more they know the more they can help

 

  1. Discuss your emotional and mental health

Your mental health can affect your physical health and vice versa, let your doctor know how you are feeling. If you have concerns, your Doctor can refer you to additional healthcare professionals if suitable i.e. psychologist, or help you with a mental health care plan etc. available for bulk billing for eligible patients

 

  1. Make a plan of action.

Take notes of the Doctors advice – tests to be done, referrals to follow up, medications, change in diet or exercise or other habits.

 

  1. Ask Questions.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t understand, ask your doctor to repeat it or write it down.

 

If you are prescribed a drug, make sure you know why it has been given to you, how long to take it for etc. Remember pharmacists are experts in medication and a very useful source of advice.

 

Be direct. If you have a problem that you find embarrassing or difficult to talk about, don’t leave it to the end of the appointment before mentioning it. Remember your problem is likely to a common one for your GP, who is there to help you.

Concerns about next step after referral, side effects, etc. Bring them up before you leave. Time to focus on yourself and your health– your doctor’s appointment is all about you!

To view a quick and easy video on these 10 steps, click here

At Reliance it is our priority to make your visit as comfortable as possible. We will do all we can to ensure your patient experience is exceptional and are always looking for feedback on ways in which we can improve our service for our patients, to complete our online survey click here.

 

To book an appointment with a Reliance GP please call 02 4304 1333 or visit www.reliancehealth.com.au

 

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  • This development is supported by financial assistance from the Australian Government under the GP Super Clinics Program.

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