Diabetes Forecast

6 Doctors' Secrets to a Successful Appointment


There are probably some things you wish doctors knew—for example, why spending 20 minutes waiting in the exam room throws off your day. Well, doctors have a few tidbits they hope patients will understand.

Six docs tell it like it is …

Be patient

"The reality of health care is we can never stop and say, 'Your time is up.' Sometimes I feel bad that my waiting room is full, but I have to pay attention to the patient in the examination room in front of me. A good level of understanding is needed on both sides."
Etie Moghissi, MD, FACP, FACE
endocrinologist in private practice in Marina del Rey, Calif.

Think ahead

"There's nothing wrong with collecting your thoughts. [But] it's best not to do it in the waiting room. Do it beforehand."
Martin Solomon, MD
assistant clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and medical director at Brigham and Women's Primary Care of Brookline


"If you're going in for something acute—let's say an upper respiratory infection—it's probably not the best time to discuss goals."
Vincenza Snow, MD, FACP
director of clinical programs and quality of care for the American College of Physicians

Be realistic

"Don't unload this big, long handout and expect the doctor to read it and digest it in a short amount of time."
Fred Williams, MD, FACP, FACE
endocrinologist at Endocrine and Diabetes Associates in Louisville, Ky.

Respect your doc's time

"No doctor gets paid for e-mails or follow-up calls. All of insurance is designed to thwart good diabetes care. So there's not reimbursement for answering follow-ups. One patient e-mail is fine. If you get 20 e-mails, that's a lot of time."
Andrew Drexler, MD
professor of medicine and director of the Gonda Diabetes Center at the University of California­­­–Los Angeles

Trust your gut

"I wish patients would have more confidence in their own inner doctor, trusting their own wisdom about themselves and respecting and trusting their own gut."
Marie Savard, MD
internist, women's health expert, and author of How to Save Your Own Life



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