Getting Doctor AppointmentYou may have had the experience of the minute you get back to your car after your child’s doctor visit suddenly realizing not only did you forget to ask those important questions you listed in your mind, but also you forgot almost everything the doctor said. What are the restrictions, medications, and plan for care?
Here are three helpful communication tips to help you get the most from your doctor’s appointment:

1. Prepare to Tell Your Story

Preparing to visit the doctor is like preparing to tell a story – you don’t want to forget the important points. Listing symptoms, concerns, and all the important details of your child’s medical story cannot only help you convey this information to your doctor in an organized way, but also can help ensure your doctor sees you as a competent partner in your child’s care.

2. List Your Questions

What are your questions going into the appointment? Instead of expecting to remember these questions at the time of the appointment when stress may make your memory less than perfect, write them down. Then make sure that before you leave the office, each of your questions is answered.

3. Take Notes

If possible, recruit a trusted friend or family member to take notes for you. This way, you can stay focused on your communication with the doctor, knowing that the results will be written down. The entire team caring for your child while at home may need specific instructions from the doctor and it’s astounding how often different people can hear different things from the same doctor visit. Instead of misremembering or disagreeing about how you remember these specifics, write them down.

Sheri Brisson
Sheri Sobrato Brisson is a brain tumor survivor who discovered the importance of self-reflection during her recovery. From her personal illness experience and a dozen years supporting families and children with serious illness, her life’s philanthropic mission is to empower families and children facing serious illness. She has started and facilitated support groups for children with illness and their families for over twenty years with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, National Brain Tumor Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, and Packard Children’s Hospital. She has served as Board Member for many children’s health nonprofit organizations including American Cancer Society San Jose, UCSF/Mt. Zion Auxiliary, Creighton Health Institute, and Okizu Foundation. Brisson received her master’s degree in counseling from Santa Clara University and her undergraduate degree in human biology from Stanford University.
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