How to get the most from doctor appointments

Feb 8th, 2021 | By | Category: Health & Fitness

It used to be that patients visited their healthcare provider and were told their diagnosis, what course of action was needed, and what prescriptions to take. That’s changed. Now patients (or their caregivers) are expected to be active participants in the conversation

“Talking with your Doctor,” an online seminar that will be hosted in February by Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources, is an opportunity to learn about the philosophy guiding the medical community today, the expectations that providers have for their patients, and how preparing for medical appointments is more important than ever.

The presentations, which are free, are scheduled for:

  • Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. Register in advance online at A telephone option is available at 253-215-8782 or 888-788-009. Webinar ID: 913 2484 5538
  • Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. Advance registration is at Telephone option: 253-215-8782 or 888-788-0099. Webinar ID: 942 7025 4423

A medical appointment for which a patient hasn’t prepared adequately “could be time wasted for everyone.  Knowing exactly how to describe symptoms, the context for an issue, and preparing with questions makes a world of difference,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Aging and Disability Resources, a county government program.

Van Valkenburg said it’s recommended that patients have a second person with them. Another set of eyes and ears can be crucial for information such as things to do and not do, what to eat and not eat, and prescriptions– all of which can be confusing, misunderstood or misinterpreted after the fact, he explained.

The online presentations will include information from the National Institute on Aging, a federal agency that is part of the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services. A Zoom link will be provided at registration.

Additional information is available from Aging and Disability Resources at 253-798-4600 and 800-562-0332.

Patients and doctors should expect to be equal participants in their conversations.