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Transcript: "Make a List"

Albert Bahnfleth: For me, planning for my doctor's visit is a long term proposition.

Announcer: At 91, Albert Bahnfleth knows how to prepare for a doctor's visit.

Albert Bahnfleth: I keep notes from my last visit. I keep a list of all medications. I keep adding to those questions and concerns during the interval from my last visit so that when I arrive for my appointment I have my medications and I have the questions and concerns that I wish to discuss with my doctor.

Announcer: It can sometimes be hard to remember what to tell the doctor. So it's important to make a list before you come as Mr. Bahnfleth's doctor advises.

Alan Pocinki, M.D.: Yeah, I think it's very important for them to bring notes, especially older patients. Many family members may have concerns and say, "Make sure to ask the doctor about this." If the patient themselves isn't that concerned about it, they may forget or as I said, they may be planning to ask the doctor something, but then the doctor starts asking questions that the doctor wants to ask and the patient forgets what they wanted to ask.

Announcer: Take time before your visit to give serious consideration to what you want to discuss.

Marie Bernard, M.D.: A person should prepare for a doctor's visit by sitting down and really thinking about what their concerns are maybe talking to family members so that they will not have forgotten something and they need to write the things down so they can they can take full advantage of the time with the doctor.

Announcer: Having a list also helps you and the doctor focus on what you want to talk about.

Alan Pocinki, M.D.: If a patient comes in and produces a list with questions on it, it makes it a little harder for the doctor to say, "Ok, I'm finished now, let's go on." When the patient is sitting there with a piece of paper that obviously has things on it, the doctor then is more likely to say, "Ok, what else, is there anything on your list we haven't gotten to?"

Announcer: Another reason for making a list of your concerns in advance is because there may be time constraints.

Marie Bernard, M.D.: Doctor visits are getting shorter and shorter these days. So, I would recommend that you come with a list of your problems, your medications, your past hospitalizations, probably written down to make sure you take full advantage of the encounter.

Announcer: Mr. Bahnfleth uses his list to make sure that he and the doctor cover the issues that are important to him.

Albert Bahnfleth: I go down my list of questions and concerns and as we discuss each one, I make very brief notes and check them off so that by the time the appointment has been completed, I'm sure that I have completed all the items on my checklist.

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