Do as I say, not as I do
A personal medical journal is the perfect tool to bring with you to a medical appointment. With it, you can document all of the important information covered by your medical team. It works really well, if you remember to bring it with you.
Some time ago, I was in to see my dermatologist. The exam was going very well until she noticed a suspicious area on my back. I was told that the lesion should be removed and biopsied. As soon as she said the word biopsy, my mind went blank. The exam ended, I felt numb and then I left the office; without taking a single note.
Clearly I failed to follow the advice I give in all of my seminars, "Take notes!" Later in the day, once I "regrouped", I called the doctor's office to ask all of the questions I should have asked during the exam. Oops!
It may also be helpful to:
1. Bring a friend or family member with you to help you remember exactly what the doctor said during the examination. It has been found that patients typically forget about one half of what their physician tells them during their visit.
2. Tape record the visit with your doctor and review it later. As a courtesy, be sure to ask your physician if this is okay.
Summarize the Visit
Before you leave the exam, be sure to ask your doctor to summarize the visit. It has been found that when patients and doctors take just 5 minutes to review major points and resolve questions, patients remember more and are more satisfied with the visit. You can then list this information in your personal medical journal. Remember "the palest ink is better than the most retentive memory"- Old Chinese Proverb.Personal Medical Journal - Take Notes to Capture the Highlights of Medical Appointments