Maximizing Your Checkup-The Lister

31 Jul

I’m going to start a series today on how to maximize your time at your child’s next checkup…

The first parent I’m going to talk about is “The Lister.”

Let’s get one thing straight, I love my listers.  There actually nothing I like more than walking into a checkup and seeing someone with a paper list and a pen ready to go.  I even prefer this over the second best option which is an electronic list on a phone or tablet.  Ok, let’s rewind because I have one that I love even more than the paper list and that is the paper list that is brought in by dad but written by mom when she couldn’t come for the check up (it could go the other way with dad sending a list, I’ve just never seen it…not trying to be sexist here).  

You may think I’m being sarcastic and there may be doctors out there who don’t love them but I really do love my listers.  Let me give you 3 reasons why:

1)  It helps me prioritize what I talk about.  There are about a million things I could cover at every check up but talking about every single one of them doesn’t make any sense.  I estimate that my patients only take away about 2-3 things that I say verbally to them and they don’t take home written down on a piece of paper.  I have those 2-3 things memorized for every checkup and typically say each one of them twice during the checkup just to help my parents remember.  If you come with a list, I can cover those things that are important to you (usually I get to address my important points because they’re included) and, if not, adding an item or 2 to your checklist is manageable as well.

2) It helps you remember what we talked about.  There’s nothing worse than having a long conversation, including lots of subtleties and then to get home and not remember what advice was given.  Lots of pediatric discussions have multiple options and we might discuss through several of them while you are in the office.  When you get home, you want to have something written down to remind you of the plan.  There’s nothing worse than knowing you should know something that you don’t remember.  Use your list and write the answers down.

3) It helps my nurse stay off the phone.  If you’ve been to my office, you know I like to run a tight ship.  Especially during check-up time, I have my nurse running around doing shots, drawing blood and doing all the other patient related issues she needs to get done in order to keep me and my patients on time.  When she finishes all of this, she sits down to catch up on phone calls…calling to answer check-up related questions just makes it longer for you to get a phone call back when your children are sick and no one wants that…

So, please bring your lists in and ask questions.  I love it!  But don’t be surprised if I tease you about anyway, just a little bit!

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