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Know Your Numbers: Maximize your doctor time

Are you getting the most out of your face-to-face time with your doctor? Does the time fly by so quickly that you don't have time to understand all the information being exchanged? There are ways to get more out of those precious minutes when the doctor is actually in the exam room.
Know Your Numbers is a public health campaign coordinated by Health Fair 11.

Minneapolis — How often do you go to the doctor? Some people are great with scheduling annual physicals. Others only head to the clinic when they are sick. Some avoid medical appointments at all costs.

The amount of face-to-face time between the doctor and patient has become more precious than ever. According to a 2016 survey, doctors estimated their average time with the typical patient is 13-16 minutes. The survey was done by Medscape and included in the 2016 Physician Compensation report. As the healthcare industry changes, the average appointment times may be shrinking.

Make the most of your time

In the exam room, every minute counts. It’s easy to tense up and feel rushed once the doctor arrives. When medical jargon starts getting used, it’s a challenge to process all the information.

One way to get the most out of the face-to-face time is to do some prep work before your appointment. Make a list of the reasons why you made the appointment. Write down specific questions you want to ask. If you take any medications, bring a list of them along with the dosage amounts. Bring that list to your appointment and check off the questions.

UCare,a sponsor of Health Fair 11, has created a pre-appointment worksheet to help keep you focused during your clinic visit. Find a link to it here.

Exam schedule

How often should you be going to the doctor for wellness check-ups? The answer varies, and not surprisingly, age plays a major factor. There are infant and well-child checkups, pre-school appointments, sports physicals, annual exams, pregnancy visits, and senior wellness checks. For a list of physical exam recommendations for adults, check out this link.

Know Your Numbers

This information is provided by Health Fair 11 as part of its Know Your Numbers campaign. Health Fair 11 is a non-profit organization that operates with the support of KARE 11 TV and UCare. Learn more at www.HealthFair11.org.

Resources use for this article

Business Insider

Medscape

Medline Plus