Managing Your Doctor – Make the Most of Your Visit

Managing your life is a lot like dr t primary care harlingen tx a company. You sit in the corner office as CEO and manage your team of employees who may include (but are by no means limited to) your accountant, personal trainer, lawyer, hair stylist, and, most relevantly, your physician. We often forget this relationship due to the dynamics of our interactions with these “employees” but at the end of the day, they really do work for you. That being said, you have an obligation to “manage” these individuals, informing them of your needs and expectations, so that they can do the best work possible on your behalf and subsequently allowing you to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The question then becomes, “How do you manage your doctor?”

The first and most critical step is to find the right doctor for you. You want a physician that is personable and who you feel comfortable trusting with your health. You also want to make sure that your physician can provide you with the face time you deserve and need. Many doctors now have to rely on a larger volume of patients to compensate for the decreasing reimbursements they receive from insurers (i.e. they crank through 40+ patients per day and look a lot like this guy flying from exam room to exam room). So make sure that your doctor is willing to spend enough time with you each visit to address all of your medical needs. Another key is to make sure you’re seeing the right type of doctor. Primary care doctors come in many forms (internists, family physicians, geriatricians, etc.) so make sure that the doctor you hire is the right one for you. How do you know what’s right for you? Ask them about the types of patients in their practice. If 90% of their patients are 65+ and you’re 24 years old, you may want to find another doctor with more experience with a younger population. If you’re a female and don’t feel comfortable with a male physician, you should probably find a female (females, by the way, have now surpassed men and become the majority in medical schools in America). The takeaway: Find someone that you can relate to and that you feel comfortable with.

Just as in business, there are good times and bad times to schedule appointments with your physician to maximize the attention you receive and prevent yourself from waiting for hours in a crowded waiting room (like the one we are all too familiar with seen here). Imagine the energy and enthusiasm you would bring to a board meeting at 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon. It would be a sad showing to say the least. A Monday morning seems like a more logical choice. So let’s begin with when NOT to schedule an appointment:

  • Right Before Lunch: Doctors often have lunch meetings that they have to attend. If the doctor is running behind (which they almost always are) you may be bumped to the first appointment of the afternoon meaning an extra hour in the waiting room. Those magazines can only keep you entertained for so long.
  • At the End of the Day: We would bet a small fortune that the doctor will be behind by the time the 4:00pm appointments start to arrive. The few minutes behind that he has been with each patient will have snowballed into at least 30 minutes by now translating into more waiting for you. In addition, it’s hard to keep everything straight in your head by the end of the day. With 30+ patients already floating around in your doctor’s mind, you will certainly not be getting the attention you need at this time in the day.

With all this in mind, the first or second appointment in the morning seems to be the best time to see your doctor. They will be on time (we hope) and with a clear mind that can be entirely focused on your needs.

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