1. Everyone needs to eat well and exercise
• A good diet and exercise is not just for "fat" people. Getting adequate amounts of vegetables and other nutrients and moving your body most days of the week are minimal requirements of good health regardless of your body size.
2. Come prepared to give a detailed history
• For any complaint, your doctor will want to know details like when it started, how often it occurs, how severe it is, what makes it better or worse, what you’ve tried to make it better, etc. Focus on these details instead of trying to tell the doctor what you have. This can lead to confusion.
• Know your medical history and the names and doses of medications you are taking every day or have taken recently.
• Don’t worry about Googling so you can tell your doctor your exact diagnosis. Focus on being able to accurately report what you’ve been feeling. Your doctor will do the rest.
3. Antibiotics (and other medicines) are not cure-alls
• Many infections (colds and flu) are caused by viruses which cannot be treated by antibiotics.
• Antibiotics are not generic. They have to be matched to the infection. Sometimes your doctor will have to wait for results to know which antibiotic is the right one.
4. You are in control
• Your actions are the most important part of safeguarding your health.
• Your doctor can make the right diagnosis and prescribe the right medicines, but it is the day-to-day decisions that keep you healthy or keep you feeling poorly.
- Eat vegetables at every meal.
- Exercise most days of the week.
- Don’t smoke.
- Keep alcohol intake to a minimum.
- Take your medicines as directed.
• Keep your doctor in the loop if:
- You stop taking a medication (or want to stop).
- You have a reaction to a treatment or develop new symptoms.
- You are confused about any instructions.
- You don’t remember what was said.
- You want to change therapy.
5. Medical knowledge is incomplete
• Sometimes the best we can do is make a situation better not perfect.
• There is still a lot we don’t know about disease and wellness so sometimes we simply have no answers.
6. Mental health is important and affects physical health
• Your mental state underlies everything you do (sleep, appetite, job performance, relationships, etc.).
• Mood disorders are associated with physical pain — migraine, chronic stomach pain etc.
• Just like with physical complaints, there are professionals to help with mental/psychological/mood disorders.
7. Your body is already designed to get rid of “toxins” (all the things you do in the toilet)
• You don’t need to buy a cleanse or detox and these can often cause you to lose water and minerals your body needs.
8. Please ask questions
• Although time is often limited, your doctor wants you to understand what’s happening in your visit. Make sure to ask questions as they come up or feel free to write down your questions before your visit.
• You may need a second visit but it can be worth the time to make sure you’re clear especially if you need a surgery or have a major diagnosis.
9. Stop going to Dr. Google!
• The internet has lots of information, but it can be hard to tell what is reliable in a random search (remember the Google algorithm does not take medical accuracy into account).
• Use trusted sources only: