6 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Doctor’s Visit

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Navigating the complexities of a new diagnosis can be daunting for anyone. Challenges may include deciphering medical jargon, adjusting to an unfamiliar medical environmentmanaging emotions and expectations and dealing with uncertainty.

Karen Knops, MD, understands these challenges firsthand, having experienced them during her teenage years following a scoliosis diagnosis. Frustrated by the often intimidating patient-doctor experience, she was inspired to find new ways to empower patients and families to advocate for themselves.


A Framework for Communicating with Your Medical Team

Patient and doctor discussing care plan.

Having a mental map or framework for what happens before, during, and after a visit can be a game-changer in important conversations. Here’s what the framework covers—and how it can help you get the most out of your next doctor’s visit.

  1. Anticipate: Prioritize your top questions and concerns. Consider what to bring to your visit.
  2. Summarize: Sum up the main reason for your visit and how things are going for you.
  3. Concerns: Be honest about how you feel. Tell us what most concerns you.
  4. Explore: Ask questions about the risks and benefits of a care plan. Consider options.
  5. Next Steps: State the plan in your own words for understanding. Confirm what's next.
  6. Document: Take notes if that helps you remember. Refer to printed material or MyChart.

Adapted with permission from Ascending Bridge, LLC

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