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Tips to help you make the most out of your next doctor visit

It may take months to get an appointment with your doctor, so be prepared.

TAMPA, Fla. — Getting an appointment for just a regular, preventative check-up with your family doctor can be a struggle. 

Sometimes you have to wait months, so you need to make the most of that visit. Concierge Physician and author, Dr. Ken Redcross shared three ways to make sure you are getting the attention you need. 

First, Dr. Redcross says to make a list of things you want to discuss with your doctor. Either put it on your phone or on paper, but this is really important.

"How many times do you get into your doctor's office and oh my gosh, I forgot to ask him or her that question and you're not getting back in when you call back that day. It's tough. So make that list so once again you kind of have a strategy as to what you want to get accomplished," Dr. Redcross said.

Next, Dr. Redcross suggests that as the doctor gives you important information, you repeat it back to them to make sure you are understanding it.

"Look, there's a lot going on. Depending on why you're going for the visit, you're scared, you're concerned and everything you hear is a little bit different so you have to repeat that information," he said.

Finally, he says to ask questions. Feel free to ask why the doctor is ordering a test or prescribing a medication. Ask about side effects and when you should start to feel better.  

"Your doctor is human just like you so you have to make sure understand, this is your health. This is your body. So you want to make sure you ask questions. That helps to kind of solidify the knowledge and to make sure that you know that you're a part of this health journey," he said.

Dr. Redcross also says one of the most important things patients can do is be open and honest with their doctors. 

The pandemic has put us through a lot, so be honest about tobacco and alcohol use and any signs of depression or anxiety. 

Doctors can help you with these issues, but they have to know exactly what they're dealing with.

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