How to Prepare for Your First BIMC Appointment — New residents to Bali are tasked with reestablishing their lives and one of the first key considerations is deciding on a new doctor.
Once you’ve scheduled your appointment with a BIMC doctor, the first thing you should do is make sure your new doctor will be able to get a copy of your medical records. Without your medical records, including test results, it will be much more difficult for us to get to the root of your medical issues.
Additional information to present to your BIMC doctor:
Your medical records, however, do not tell the whole story of your health. You should, therefore, prepare for your first visit with a new doctor by writing down a complete picture of your past and current medical conditions and treatments.
Pulling together this information ahead of time reduces the likelihood that you will forget important information that will help us make a diagnosis or prescribe effective treatment. The information you will want to collect includes the following:
- Your current health conditions
- Any over-the-counter and prescription medicines you take, as well as vitamins and supplements Any allergies you have
- Your health history, including conditions you’ve had, medicines you’ve taken, and procedures (such as surgeries) and medical tests you’ve undergone
- Your family’s health history — this includes any conditions that your parents, grandparents, siblings, and children have or had; the names and contact information of other doctors you have seen
Having all this information on hand can help your new BIMC doctor immensely. For example, if a symptom you have been experiencing is due to an over-the-counter drug, your doctor will be able to make the connection only if he or she knows that you are taking the drug. (If you take many medicines and feel it might be confusing to write them all down, plan to bring all the bottles to your appointment.)
A second way to prepare for your first office visit is to complete a symptom diary. A symptom diary is a daily record of the symptoms you experience over a period of several weeks or months. Each entry should start with a description of your symptoms followed by the time of day the symptoms occurred, the length of time they lasted, anything that may have relieved the symptoms, and any other factors associated with their onset. A symptom diary can help you and your doctor discover that your symptoms follow specific patterns.
Toward the end of this first office visit, you should have a clear understanding of how and when you will be following up with your doctor. If the follow-up involves test results, you should know how you will get these results once they come in.
While the process of preparing for your first medical visit may seem time-consuming, in the long-run your preparation will help the visit be a much more rewarding experience. It will give you answers to questions important to your health and well-being, and it will help your BIMC doctor understand your condition better so that he or she can treat you effectively.