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Seeing your GP: Tips 5 & 6

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Woman with GP_Photolibrary

5. Double appointments

It's becoming more common for doctors to address only one problem per appointment so instead of trying to squeeze several things in to a tight time slot, ask the receptionist if you can book a double appointment so you've got twice as long to chat.

Your doctor will thank you for it as they hate hearing 'just one more thing' when your 10 minutes are up. And you could save yourself from having to make a separate appointment after your doctor tells you they 'don't have time to discuss that now'.

Example: You've had a sore throat and you want to get it checked out but also you want to talk to the doctor about Seasonal Affective Disorder.
What you should do: Book a double appointment so you have a decent amount of time to talk about both conditions and tell the doctor you wish to talk about both at the start of the consultation.

6. Know your agenda - and let them know it too

Think about why you're going to the doctor's. If it's because you think you need antibiotics, let them know. If it's because you're worried you've got cancer, let them know! If you skirt around the issue they might completely miss the point and not assess the right bits of you. While doctors should be good at getting the information they need out of their patients, they're not mind readers!

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Example: You've had a toenail infection and over-the-counter remedies haven't helped so you want to go on medication.
What you should do: Don't wait for them to suggest drugs as sometimes GPs are reluctant to dish out prescriptions for things such as this. Bring it up yourself so they know that's what you want from the consultation.

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