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Getting the most out of your doctors visit

When visiting the emergency focus on what symptoms made you go to the ER. 
	If possible be able to verbalize what is going on in one sentence. It is important to focus on all the new symptoms that brought you to the er. Please remember that er doctors have been trained to rule out emergencies and will likely focus on these conditions. Any non threatening chronic diseases will likely be addressed by your primary care physician. The ER doc will treat non emergencies but it is important to understand these chronic conditions are best managed by your established PCP. 
	Be honest, listen, ask questions, take notes, don't ramble, don't self diagnose, don't demand medications ( if you do explain why that medication works for you. There might be better options, newer medications. The medication you might be requesting might be contraindicated in your particular situation.

	Keep a personal health journal and medical record. For example if you have an abnormal EKG try to have a copy of it or have your doctor write down what is abnormal. Consider using google health records it is a free service that allows you to keep your personal records online. Others use "ICE" in case of emergency as a contact and list all their key contact number and any other important medical information. It is important to know your allergies and have a current list of medications. Also, have the number to your pharmacy saved on your phone. Sometimes, your doctor might call in a prescription based on cultures or other tests performed in the er. 
	Please consider that there is a chance that you might be admitted to the hospital. Please make consider who could take care of your home, kids, pets anything that might keep you from being admitted. We want you to focus on getting well and sometimes patients request if they can come back after watering the plants finding someone to care for the kids or pets. Therefore, have a plan on what you would do if you has to be admitted. 
	Traveling or just visiting, make sure you find out what the process is to get your er records. You might be able to get a copy of your x-rays, labs if you are traveling and need follow up... 


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