Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Professional Patient: Working with your Doctor

Professional Patient: Working with your Doctor: "Getting A Last-Minute Doctor's Appointment.

You need to see your doctor -- NOW! How do you get in to see your doctor on the same day you call, or even the same hour?

Step 1: Call at the right time. First thing in the morning is good, if you want to get in on the same day. But realize that every doctor's office takes a flood of calls first thing in the morning. Expect to be put on hold. If you can't bear waiting in line, call at midmorning instead.

Step 2: Ask for help. 'Hello, I am hoping you can help me.' 'Hi, I need some help.' 'Good morning, can you help me, please?' This lets the receptionist or appointment scheduler know you are in a vulnerable spot.

Step 3: Give a good reason why you need an appointment right away. Be specific about what is dangerous, disabling, or getting significantly worse. Explain any previous appointments you had for the same thing.

'I saw Dr. X two days ago, and have been having bizarre reactions to the medication he gave me at that appointment. My legs are going numb.'

'My peak flow is down in the red zone for no apparent reason. I am having trouble breathing when I do anything.'

You'll know what you need to say."

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