Top techniques to remember what your doctor says
Research shows that we only accurately remember about 20% of what our doctor tells us. This might be due to anxiety, not understanding the words a doctor uses, or something as simple as your mind wandering to other concerns. But there are ways round this. Try some of these simple techniques for making the most of your doctor’s appointment:
It’s a good idea to take a notebook and pen with you. That way you can keep a record of what your doctor says. You can also record the answers to any questions you might have. There is no problem doing this. In fact, your doctor will probably encourage it.
If you get to the end of your appointment and you’ve still got unanswered questions, or feel you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to say so.
Take a friend or relative
Consider taking a close friend or family member with you. A close friend or relative can remind you of anything that slips your mind later. You can also ask your friend to take notes.
Ask your doctor to repeat information
It’s very important you understand everything your doctor tells you about your condition and treatment, so tell your doctor if you don’t understand something. A useful phrase to remember is, “I’m afraid I didn’t understand that, could you explain it differently?”
Try asking for a diagram
Some medical concepts are difficult to describe in words, but may be easier to demonstrate visually. So if you’re having trouble following a complex explanation, try asking the doctor to draw you a diagram.
Ask for written instructions
It’s a good idea to get your doctor to write down any advice about medication. That way you’ll avoid the stress of getting home and realising you can’t remember how to use your treatment. Your doctor may have pre-written brochures that may help.
Request more time
If you get to the end of your appointment and you’ve still got unanswered questions, or feel you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to say so. It’s perfectly fine to ask for another appointment. There may also be someone else – perhaps a nurse or pharmacist – who can talk everything through with you.
Hopefully some of these techniques will inspire you to think about how you can get the most from your doctor’s appointment. While it may be hard to take in lots of information and advice in one go, finding a technique that works for you can make a big difference – and help you better manage your psoriasis.