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How to Get the Most from Your Doctor Visit

doctor visit

Have you ever made an appointment with a physician and afterward felt as though you wasted your time and money? I have and it’s made even worse because I really hate going to the doctor.

Most people have had this type of experience at least once,  and it’s very frustrating to spend time and money going to a doctor visit when you are sick only to leave with more questions than answers. But there are things you can do to help both yourself and your doctor find the answers you’re looking for so you can save time and money by not having to go in a for a repeat visit unless you truly need one.

Here are some tips for how you can get the most from your doctor visit.

Arrive Early

I can’t stress this enough. It might seem like a waste of time to arrive to a doctor visit early, especially when it seems like your doctor’s office is always running behind schedule. But you should arrive at least 15-20 minutes early to give yourself time to complete any paperwork and fill out forms after you check-in, especially if it is the first time you have been to that clinic or doctor. Some medical facilities will bill you for the entire visit if you arrive late with no notice, or if you arrive on time but have to take time out of your appointment time to fill out paperwork.

Arrive Prepared

Bring your insurance cards, at least one form of photo id, and any prescription cards or information you have every single time you go to a clinic, hospital, or other medical facility for any type of treatment. It may seem like overkill if you are going to the doctor for something unrelated to some of your prescriptions, but it’s important so your doctor can make sure your current medications doesn’t cause issues with the new prescriptions you might receive during your visit.

You should also, keep an updated list of any surgeries or other medical procedures you have had in your lifetime so you can provide that information to your doctor as well. Once you get older, you’ll be glad you have all of this information because it gets harder to remember as you age and the more medical procedures you have too.

Don’t Be Shy

When meeting with your doctor, don’t hold back any information due to embarrassment or for any other reason. Having a list of questions written down ahead of time can save time for both you and your physician.

You already know that the standard procedure at a doctor’s appointment is to ask about your symptoms, so be prepared to answer.

If you choose to conduct a little research on the internet prior to your appointment, that’s fine. However, you should always refrain from self-diagnosis. After all, that is why your medical provider spent thousands of dollars at medical school. In addition, diagnosing yourself can be dangerous, leading to incorrect treatment, wasted time, and wasted money at the very least. I like to be knowledgable about things related to my health, but I always make sure to leave it up to my doctor to tell me what illness or condition I might have.

Stick With One Provider

Whenever possible, find one medical provider and stick with them. When they already know you and your personal medical history, it speeds up the entire process for both of you and helps you avoid misdiagnosis and the chances for needing a repeat appointment, which also saves you money.

How do you get the most from your doctor visits? Can you think of any other ways to save time and money during a doctor visit?

About Kayla Sloan

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.


  1. Good points. I would add that if the doctor prescribes any new medications, ask if they have samples for you to try so you don’t have to buy a whole month’s worth of pills unless you know they’re going to work for you.

  2. Nice! I stick to one doctor as it helps me be more relaxed break any barrier that helps me give out any information he needs, It is also good to one doctor for a long time as sometimes he gives me sample products for free.

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