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How to handle your first doctor’s appointment after not going for 20 years

patient meeting with the doctor

Many people still fear to takethat vital step for a medical checkup. Many myths are associatedwith a doctor’s visit. Some believe that the moment they walk into a hospital,they will be admittedwith severeailments. This fear and misinformation leadsto people avoiding doctor’s appointment for even 20 years.

However, it does not have to be that scary if you follow the tips we have prescribed below.

doctors office

Make a list of your concerns

The doctor will often give you feedback depending on the information that you present to them. If you have concerns about a cyst or some symptoms that have been recurring, write a list of some of these concerns so that you can discuss them with your doctor. Do not be afraid to share your concernsand fears concerning a symptom.

Carry your medical history

It is vital that you come with information on previous surgeries or conditions that you have been suffering from. Thisincludes a list of prescription drugs that you are currently taking. Equally important is to carry with you, insurance information, identification cards and phone numbers of next of kin. It is imperative that you inform your doctor of any special needs that you have. Thiscan include hearing aids, translation if you do not speak the native languageor any medications that you need to take during the trip.

Patient Couple talking to doctor

Having a family member around

It is crucialthat you come with a close family member or friend for your first doctor’s visit. The doctor may have several things they want to share, andit is vital that you do not forget any of it. A friend is also crucial to provide you with the necessary moral support. You never know what may be discovered during a doctor’s visit, but this should not scare you not to go.

Office policies

Doctors tend to be very busy and you when you schedule a meeting it is importantthat you keep time. If you discover that you may miss the doctor’s appointment, call in advance so that the secretaries can reschedule it. Some offices surchargeyou for canceling a doctor’s appointment at the last minute. If you show up at the doctor’s office without an appointment,you may be forced to wait in the queue. If it is within your ability, schedule your doctor’s appointment on weekdays and avoid weekends or public holidays. The reason for this is that many working-classpeople tend to book appointments on this days.

Gather all your personal information before the visit

During your visit,you will be asked to fill out some personal information. Thiswould include your names, next of kin, home address, occupation, health insurance policy details and perhaps a complaint form. Since you are visiting a doctor for the first time, you can be tense and forget some of this information. Other information you may be required to fill iswhether there any genetically transferred diseases in your family like cancer or diabetes. You can ask close family members for this information. Any evidence you have to support some of these claims will be highly appreciated.

patient talking to the doctor

Ask clarifications

If there is something that you do not understand during the visit ask for clarificationsfrom the doctor. Do not feel embarrassed to tell the doctor that you do not understandwhat they are saying. That is why it is essentialto come with a friend because they can ask the right questions from the doctor. You can also carry a notebook and pen to write down any information passed down from the doctor. Most doctors expect the patients not to capture everything they have said and that is why they provide small notes to the patient. Remember that your discussions with the doctor are private and confidential. If you withhold something crucial,then you may end up getting the wrong diagnosis.


Going for your first doctor’s appointment after 20 years can be scary. But, a medical checkup can detect diseases early. Diseases like cancer can be treatable when detectedearly so do not shy to go for that checkup. Carry your previous medical history and a list of any drugs that you are currently taking. Above all try to relax it is not as bad as it seems.


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Written by Mizzy Sanchez

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