Best practices: How to talk to your doctor - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Best practices: How to talk to your doctor

Dr. Jennifer Sholes is a family practice physician who has some advice for patients. Dr. Jennifer Sholes is a family practice physician who has some advice for patients.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

When Faye Smoot visits her doctor she said she is confident. 

"I feel comfortable when I come to her. I've never had any type of problem or freezing up really," said Smoot.

But not everyone feels the same way.  Sometimes people even forget things when they visit the doctor's office.

Every time you go to see a doctor, make certain that you keep a list of questions, drugs, anything that has to do with you or your family's health.

Dr. Jennifer Sholes is a family practice physician who has some advice for patients. 

"Well, I would encourage anyone to make a personal health record. It could be just a folder where you write down details about your family history, your past medical history, surgeries you may have had," said Sholes.

Sholes said even the smallest details could be important.

"…Like how old the family member was when they were diagnosed, if they survived. This will give your doctor hints if they need to be screening for specific diseases earlier than the recommended age for the general population," added Sholes.

Keeping a log of aches and pains or blood pressure checks and showing them to the doctor can also help them help you.

"It's good to be precise with your description of your problems going on. Think about things beforehand, like when the problem started, where it's located - pain - if the pain is spreading anywhere," said Sholes.

For people who go to more than one doctor, it's also important to keep a list of medications, no matter how small.

"This includes the dose of the medicine, if you're taking them, if you're taking anything over the counter," said Sholes.

Huntsville Hospital even has an app where you can put that information for you and your family. You can pull it up anytime it's needed.

By keeping careful records, you can improve the health of your family. Just ask Faye Smoot. 

"I have a good relationship with my doctor."

And that is a goal for every patient.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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