This is the second of a two part series on making the most of the interaction between the Veteran and his VA physician. You can find Part 1 here.
- Get your pre clinic visit labs done 3 to 7 days prior to your visit with your VA physician. This will ensure that all your labs are back in time and your physician can review the lab results with you during your visit.Your labs indicate the working condition of your various organs. Hence its critical to find out how your various body parts are doing.
- Discuss your chronic conditions. Different providers do this differently. Personally, I prefer going over each of your chronic condition and explain the current state of that condition. For example. How your Diabetes is doing, how your high blood pressure is doing and so on.
- Previously I had talked about preparing a list of questions to ask your provider. It is a good idea to wait till your provider has completed going over all of your chronic conditions prior to beginning to ask him your list of questions. This will ensure that nothing important gets left out during your discussions..
- Preventive Care. Be sure to do your preventive screening tests that your physician will order depending on your age and sex. Typically these include colon cancer screening, prostate screening, mammogram, pap smear etc.These tests typically help in the early detection of cancer. Also get your recommended preventive vaccines such as Shingles , Flu and Pneumonia vaccines to avoid getting serious infections later.
- Ask for a discharge summary prior to leaving the clinic . This summary usually lists what has been discussed between you and your physician during the clinical encounter.
- Be considerate to your provider. The two of you will be working together for many years to come. Every provider loves dealing with a veteran who is friendly and easy work with.
Do you have any tips that you have found useful while interacting with your provider?