One of the most important relationships you will have to maintain your health is your relationship with your doctor. A good doctor-patient relationship can be very much like a partnership. It’s your opportunity to work closely with your doctor to stay healthy and address any medical concerns. You should always keep your scheduled doctor’s appointment unless a real emergency comes up.
Why You Should Keep Your Doctor’s Appointment
Your doctor can watch out for your health. Many people think they are healthy, and are surprised when they go in for a physical and their doctor discovers a health concern that needs to be addressed.
See the same doctor regularly to establish a comfortable relationship. Good communication with your doctor can help the partnership. Ask questions if you don’t understand and talk about problems you are experiencing even if your doctor does not ask. Good communication between you and your doctor can lead to the best possible health outcome.
Prevention is another good reason to keep your appointment. Your doctor can identify things to do and/or provide helpful suggestions that can lead to better health and prevent illnesses. We believe prevention and leading a healthy lifestyle are very important to our patient’s overall health.
Financial consequences – Avoid cancellation fees by keeping your appointment. Most doctor’s offices and clinics charge a fee for missing your appointment.
Getting Ready for Your Doctor’s Appointment
If you have a number of health concerns to discuss with your doctor, let the staff know when you schedule your visit so they can allocate enough time. Here’s some things to consider:
Prescription Refills. Do you need to refill any prescriptions? For some medications, the doctor may be willing to provide a small prescription to carry your over. Prescriptions for controlled medications will be considered a special case and will likely require a visit (or even multiple visits) and some background information. Sometimes lab tests are needed.
Be sure to bring any current prescriptions and supplements you are taking with you to the appointment. If you don’t want to bring the bottles, bring a list of the items you take and include name, brand and dosage. Your doctor will check to make sure they are medicines that can be taken together.
Number of Concerns. If you have a number of health concerns to discuss with your doctor, let the staff know when you schedule your appointment. The office staff needs to know so they can schedule enough time for the doctor. If you don’t want to list the concerns, at least let the staff know how many concerns you would like to discuss at the appointment.
Write down your concerns prior to the doctor’s appointment.
Special Needs. If you have special needs such as wheelchair access or interpretive needs, let them know. If you need an interpreter, that is also good for the clinic to know in advance.
Excuses. When you make the appointment, let the staff know if you need any excuses for missing work or school.
Office Policies. Find out what policies are in place for missed or rescheduled appointments. We charge $50 for missed appointments that are not cancelled within the 24 hours period before your appointment.
Advance Appointments. It’s always best if you can schedule an appointment in advance. We offer priority appointments so you can schedule a good time on the day you need to see a doctor.
New Patient. If you are a new patient, there will be a number of forms that require filling out. Allow time to fill out these forms prior to your appointment. At West Valley, we have the forms online so you can download and complete prior to your office visit.
At West Valley Urgent Care, you will be seen by our primary care doctors who also serve in our internal medicine and family practice. If you need a primary care provider, you can join our Internal Medicine practice – West Valley Internal Medicine. Check to see if we take your insurance, as we accept most insurance carriers.
In summary, it is important to keep your doctor’s appointment. Your health may depend upon it.