Top Ways to Sabotage Your Doctor's Appointment

When I go to the doctor, I know my time there is limited. In fact, for a routine appointment, I know my doctor has tentatively penciled me in for 15 minutes of his time. So, I feel a little rushed and end up forgetting to say something or ask a question. Point being is that you want to make the most out of your visit. There are some things you can do to hinder this process. Sit back, takes notes and learn just how to ruin your appointment, for you and for the doctor.

1
Show up late.

Doctor showing patient something on digital tablet
John Fedele/Blend Images/Getty Images
Stroll in at your convenience. If your appointment was at 12:00, but you find yourself to be a little hungry, go to lunch, then to the doctor's office. Showing up an hour late, then demanding to be seen will really get the staff fired up.

The Truth: Being on time not only shows you care about your doctor's schedule, it shows consideration for others. You certainly wouldn't like it if someone delayed your appointment because of their lack of punctuality, would you?

2
If you don't have time for personal hygiene, don't worry about it.

So you didn't have time to brush or shower before that early a.m appointment? No worries. People tend to think doctors are immune to strange smells anyway. Food for thought: have you ever looked in the mouth of someone who has yet to brush that morning?

The Truth: Doctors really do find odors offensive just like the rest of us. Be kind and take the time for personal hygeine before you arrive. It makes it much more pleasant for everyone involved.

3
Answer that cell phone!

Answer your cell right in the middle of your visit. You might be missing out on some good gossip if you don't take the call! Kindly excuse yourself, of course.

The Truth: Please turn off the cell phone during your visit. Your health care is your first priority and calls can wait until after your are finished. After all, this is why we have voicemail on our phones.

4
Don't just bring a friend or family member, bring an entourage.

Exam rooms today can easily fit at least 6-8 people, so why not bring the whole gang along. Perhaps your friends can ask a few questions about their health at your appointment.

The Truth: Bringing unnecessary people to your appointment will slow down your visit. The exam rooms really aren't large enough to accommodate extras. Bringing one person for support is usually okay, but try to keep it at a minimum.

5
Familiarize yourself with the medical equipment and supplies.

While waiting in the exam room, take the opportunity to explore those medical drawers and cabinets. Hey, if they aren't locked, they are fair game, right? Don't take anything, though. As tempted as you may be to have little packets of various ointments and swabs in your own medicine cabinet, it's just a big no-no.

The Truth: Resist the temptation to open Pandora's box. There really isn't anything special in the cabinets. I promise. Plus, if you get caught, your doctor may refuse to see you.

6
Sit in the doctor's stool or chair and don't get up when he comes in.

Doctors get really annoyed about this, but few actually will ask you to get up. To add icing on the cake, twirl around as the doctor asks about your history.

The Truth: The doctor's chair is kind of like that special recliner you have at home. It's yours and you really don't like anyone to warm it up for you! Although the twirling can be enticing, there is a time and place for everything and this is just not it.



03/15/06

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