Aspirus | Aspire | Fall 2018

SOME of life’s most important moments take place in a doctor’s office. That’s because your checkups and other appointments with your provider are a time to focus on your most precious possession: your good health. Yet doctors must see a lot of patients, and appointments can pass by more quickly than the both of you may like. So why not make the most of your valuable time together? Oscar Padilla, MD, family medicine physician at Aspirus Stevens Point Campus, offers the following tips that can help make your next visit a productive one: Do some prep work. Before your appointment, write down your questions or concerns. That way you won’t forget what you wanted to ask or talk about. For instance, if you want to discuss a new symptom you’re having, think about some details in advance, such as what makes the symptom better or worse. Write your questions or concerns in a notebook, or store them in your smartphone. Be candid. Your doctor needs honest information to take the best care of you. So it’s important to open up, even if it embarrasses you. Your doctor won’t be upset or shocked at your habits. Being open and honest is important when it comes to anything that might affect your health and well-being, such as: w w Your smoking or drinking habits. w w Your sex life. w w Your emotional well-being, including feelings of depression or anxiety over stressful changes in your life, like divorce or job loss. Take an active role in your health and well-being. Making healthy lifestyle changes is the first step in reducing your risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Use your appointment to ask questions and get advice that could literally change your life, whether you’re thinking about losing weight, changing your diet or quitting smoking. “The most rewarding part of being a physician is being able to work with my patients to help improve their health and overall quality of life,” Dr. Padilla said. “Talk to your doctor about preventive measures you can take to reduce your risk for chronic diseases and accomplish your health goals.” Ask about screenings and adult vaccines. Depending on your age and other factors, it could be time to update your shots or get a potentially lifesaving cancer screening test. So if your doctor doesn’t mention such things, ask what screening tests or immunizations you may need. Speak up if something isn’t clear. If you don’t understand any part of your doctor’s instructions or advice, don’t just nod your head. Ask your doctor to explain these things until they’re crystal clear. You can repeat your doctor’s instructions out loud to see if you got them right. Make a medicine list and share it. Your doctor needs to know everything you’re taking—even any vitamins, herbs or over-the-counter medicines. This is important because some medicines can interfere with treatments or trigger a dangerous reaction. Make a list of all your meds and supplements, or bag them up and bring them to your appointment. Bring some help. Is it hard to remember your doctor’s instructions? Consider bringing a loved one or a close friend to your appointment for a second set of ears. They can take notes and help you recall things your doctor said. Sources: National Institute on Aging; National Library of Medicine 7 ways tomake themost of your doctor visits Oscar Padilla, MD SCHEDULEYOUR APPOINTMENT To find a primary care provider at an Aspirus location near you, go online to or call the Aspirus Customer Contact Center at 800.847.4707 . 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 4 aspire Fall 2018