10 ways to get the most out of your GP

People are finding it harder than ever before to get appointments with their doctors, so it’s important that when you’re there, you get what you want out of the appointment.

Here are our 10 ways to make sure you get the most out of your GP and don’t come out feeling like you didn’t get the answers you needed.

1. Go!

Too many of us are reluctant to go to the doctor and just sit worrying about things, or, worse still, trying to ignore them. We all pay for the NHS, so make the most of it!

We’re not suggesting you go for every little sniffle but if something doesn’t feel quite right it’s worth getting checked out, if only to put your mind at rest. You may feel silly, but the fact that you feel like that in the first place means you’re not a time-waster, and the doctor will know that.

Example: A strange lump has appeared on your leg – it doesn’t hurt but you don’t know where it came from or what’s caused it.
What you should do: Go and see your doctor, it’s probably nothing but wouldn’t you rather know?

2. Take a script

There’s nothing worse than planning out what you’re going to say before you go in and then forgetting it all. Hearing ‘And what seems to be the problem?’ seems to cause instant memory loss in some people so it might be an idea to jot down a few bullet points on a bit of paper, to keep you on track.

Even just making a list of your symptoms could help – forgetting to mention something could be the difference between needing antibiotics and not. The more thorough you are, the easier your GP’s job will be.

Example: You’ve been feeling rubbish for weeks but you get in there and just mention that you’ve had cold like symptoms not that you’ve been feverish with a hacking cough.
What you should do: Jot down all your symptoms, the fever and bad cough could signify an infection which requires antibiotics and if you leave them off, the doctor might think you’ve just got a bad cold.