Preparing For An Appointment With A New Doctor

Finding a new doctor can be difficult, and very scary. Being prepared can make the whole experience much easier on you, and on the new doctor. Remember that the doctor works for YOU, and if you are uncomfortable, then you are free to keep searching for someone else. The best doctors are ones that spend time with you, listen to your concerns and take them seriously, and be willing to work with you to find the treatment that is best for you. If you find that the doctor is NOT listening, NOT spending ample time on a thorough exam, or NOT taking you seriously, run the other way!!

For your part, the best thing you can do is write up your medical history.

You should include:

  • Any conditions you have and when they were diagnosed
  • Your current medications with the dosages
  • Past medications and why you no longer take them
  • Any allergies you have and what happens with them
  • Any treatments you are currently on (C-PAP, physical therapy)
  • Your surgical history with dates
  • A list of your doctors with phone numbers and addresses
  • A list of recent radiology tests and the dates, and where they were done
  • The date of your last bloodwork
  • A list of all your current complaints, no matter how small, with the approximate dates they started

Other things you should bring with you:

  • Insurance card or information
  • Necessary insurance referrals
  • Driver's License
  • Your medical records from previous doctors, if you have them. Otherwise, contact all of your doctors in advance and request that they mail or fax them to the new doctor. You will need to fill out a release in order for them to forward them. These should include all test results and doctor notes.

While I don't know how other people feel about this, I have a Living Will.

I just changed to a new primary care doctor and she asked me if I had a Living Will, which I do, and she asked me for a copy of it.

If you have a Living Will, you might want that to add that to the list above.

Living will is a very tricky issue for AVMers. Some of us here have wound up with ventilators and peg tubes etc. temporarily and would not have survived if a living will had prohibited these life-saving measures.

It is a very tricky issue for anyone who doesn't researce them, dancemom! All a Living Will does is to live the decisions up to who you chose if you can't make them. You really need the person you chose to know what you would want. It does not mean you can't have a ventilator, peg tubes, etc.

Re: a living will, I didn’t have one in place at the time of my bleed, and my parents became my legal guardians while in a coma…which I’m sure was a hassle. If you’re beliefs and values align, that completely works; however, I found first hand that some pre-discussed “promises” were empty ones.

To my understanding, the living will specifies what you prefer and leaves the decision-making objective and upto the medical professional rather than maybe a more subjective family member.

I’m grateful for the help; however, to be fair to everyone in the future, I created a living will and gave a copy to both my neuro. and GP, in case I was ever in the same position again.