Dr. Phil MohlerMOHLER'S MEDICATION MAXIMSGrand Junction Free Press Health & Wellness Columnist

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March 28, 2013
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MOHLER: How to get what you need from you doctor

Frustrated with your last encounter with your physician? Did it seem like the doc was in and out of the exam room before you knew what was happening? Did you leave the office with unanswered questions? Planning your visit may pay big dividends. Write down your three most important questions and prioritize them. Avoid creating a body system laundry list. Even the most caring, compulsive physician will have difficulty addressing more than three issues in a typical office visit. Take the list to your appointment. After the initial pleasantries, get to the point quickly. Your time is precious and your time with the physician is expensive. Open your discussion with your physician by telling her that you have three important questions/concerns and then lay them out one by one.Be concise, direct and stay on task. Physicians frequently interrupt their patients. In one study where docs were videotaped and timed, the physician interrupted the patient, on average, after only 17 seconds! You must stay focused.Physicians often develop their own agendas as a visit proceeds. The doc may suddenly be more interested in the mole on your forearm than for your concern for a cough that has gone on for two weeks. Do not allow the physician to derail your agenda.Finally, beware the "door knob" phenomenon! Waiting until the doc has his hand on the door knob, preparing to exit the room, to discuss your breast lump, job loss or marital concerns will result in less than a satisfactory visit.Dr. Mohler has practiced family medicine in Grand Junction for 38 years. He has a particular interest in pharmaceutical education. Phil works part-time for both Primary Care Partners and Rocky Mountain Health Plans.


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The Post Independent Updated Mar 28, 2013 02:16PM Published Mar 28, 2013 02:15PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.