Preparing For Your Visit with the Doctor
Thank you for choosing us for your orthopedic healthcare needs. We know you have numerous options for your healthcare and therefore want thank you for entrusting your care to us. We continually strive to provide the highest level most compassionate care available.
For many people, coming to the doctor’s office can be frightening; however, a little preparation and having proper expectations can make the experience more pleasant. You and your doctor are partners when it comes to your health, and therefore, it is important that you are prepared for your office visit.
The Day Before Your Visit
The day before your visit someone from the office will contact you to confirm your appointment time. If you need to cancel or reschedule, we will do our best to accommodate you.
Please make sure to acquire all of your previous test results, including MRI, CT and X-ray films or CDs, and reports.
Paperwork: As in most other doctors’ offices, on your first visit you will be given several forms to fill out, mostly concerning your current complaints, your past medical and surgical history and your medications. It is important to fill these out accurately to ensure that the doctor will know about your medical problems and current medications so that appropriate and safe treatments can be rendered. Please remember to bring your insurance card and photo ID.
The History: The first thing the doctor will do when you meet him is to take a detailed history of your condition. Be prepared to answer questions concerning the location of the pain, how long it’s been present, any aggravating or alleviating factors, and any treatments that you may have received. If you have had any studies such as X-rays or MRIs, have them (CD or film and report) available for the doctor to review. You know your condition better than anyone, so this is the time to tell the doctor so that he could render an accurate diagnosis.
The Physical Examination: Following the history the doctor will perform a physical examination in order to help determine your diagnosis. He may examine parts of the body that you may not think are involved, but may have impact on your diagnosis. For instance, if you have numbness in your hands, the doctor will examine your neck to see if the condition is coming from a pinched nerve. It is helpful to come dressed appropriately to avoid having to undress completely. For instance, if you’re coming complaining of elbow pain, wear a tank top underneath your shirt to allow access to your entire arm.
X-rays: After doing a history and physical examination, the doctor may need additional studies in order to make a diagnosis and offer appropriate treatment. The office has an X-ray and fluoroscopy suite, where many of these tests can be performed. Sometimes certain studies need to be taken at an outside facility, and the office will help you make arrangements.
Ask questions: After formulating an opinion and offering a treatment plan, the doctor will ask if you have any questions. It helps if you come prepared with questions beforehand and have them written down. The doctor’s office can be intimidating, and often people forget the questions they had in mind.
Bring a friend or family member: It is always helpful to have someone with someone with you at the doctor’s office. They can help you remember questions you may have had and fill in important information that you may have forgotten
Take notes: There will be a lot of information exchanged during your visit, including your diagnosis, treatment plans, potential outcomes, possible complications, and so on. It can be very difficult to remember all of this, and taking notes can be helpful.
Repeat what you’ve heard: One of the best ways to let your doctor know that you want understand his opinions is to repeat what you’ve heard in your own words. This is an excellent way of avoiding any miscommunication or misinformation during your visit.
Second opinions: Medicine is an art as much as it is a science, and therefore, if you feel you want a second opinion after hearing the doctor’s advice, tell him so; do not be embarrassed. The doctor can be very helpful in guiding you in the right direction.
Patient forms: Many patients have forms they need for work, school, disability, insurances, and so on. We will do the best we can to fill out your forms in a timely fashion. If we cannot do this during your visit, leave the forms with us and we will mail them to you as soon as possible.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for preparing yourself for your visit with the doctor. We hope it will be a pleasant and educational experience for you, and we welcome all your comments and concerns.