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3525 Prytania St, Suite 614 - New Orleans, LA 70115 - 504-891-8454

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"You have turned my life around"

I am 87 years old, with a problem of the prostate gland. Before I met Dr. Baum, I went to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes. After Dr. Baum's treatment on my prostate, I go only 5 times per day and only 1 time at night! You turned my life around. I am so very grateful!

-Sidney Daigle

I want to thank you for your due diligence. You saved my life. I highly recommend you!

-Dwight Bastian

Thank you Dr. Baum! Because of you I'm back in the "rodeo"!

-Gerald Wallace


Communication between the patient and the doctor is crucial to your health and well-being. The more information you can provide your doctor, the better heshe can help you lead a healthy lifestyle. This article will provide you with suggestions that can assist your doctor and make your visit to the doctor more productive.

The first major strategy is to write down what you want to discuss at the time of your office visit. This may seem simplistic but so many times patients are unable to express themselves and not able to tell the doctor what are their problems. Forgetting to tell your doctor important aspects about your health is common. It is also the easiest problem to correct. Start writing down the issues that you would like to discuss a few days before your appointment. Make an effort to make your questions brief, specific and to the point. When the doctor enters the exam room, after the few seconds of perfunctory remarks, give the list of questions to your doctor or read it to the doctor.

Another suggestion for becoming a good patient is to always obtain copies of your medical records. Keep a file of your test results, your current medications, your immunizations, your allergies, and a list of your medical conditions. Every time you visit the doctor and have blood work or x-rays, you should request copies for your own records. A few doctors' offices may balk at this request and a few may even charge you for copies of your records. But don't let this deter you from obtaining what is rightfully yours and what you need to be a good patient. For example, if you decide to change doctors, or if you move or if you are visiting another city and need to see a doctor, these records can be invaluable to you. Having these records can prevent you from having tests that are unnecessarily repeated.

It is helpful to arrange to have your tests performed several weeks prior to your scheduled office visit. For example, if you see the doctor once a year for an annual exam, you might request the nurse order your x-rays, routine lab tests (cholesterol, blood count, and PSA test if you are a man over 50 years of age), EKG etc prior to your office visits. Then call the doctor's office at least a two days before your appointment to make certain that the results are in your chart. Now when you meet with the doctor, heshe can analyze the data at the time of your visit and make the appropriate recommendations. Failure to do so means you will meet with the doctor, then obtain your tests, and wait for weeks to hear from the doctor to review the results on the phone or using E-mail.

It is also helpful for older patients to bring a family member with them at the time of their office visit to help communicate various health issues with the doctor. The family member can also write down the doctor's recommendations. I also encourage patients to bring a voice recorder or use their iPhones to record my conversation with the patient and they can play it after they have left the office in order to help them recall the suggestions I have provided the patient.

Unfortunately, the medical profession does not have a reputation for being on time. But that doesn't mean that you can try and guess the time you will be seen and can arrive late. Nothing can negatively impact your visit more than being late resulting in a hurried visit. If you really want to be a good patient, arrive 15 minutes before your appointment, complete your forms and questionnaires, and relax and enjoy the experience.

Finally, learn as much as you can about your illness or medical condition. There are hundreds of websites that you can visit to find out about your medical problems. Your physician can be a good resource for credible websites and educational material.

Bottom line: It is not easy to be a good patient. No one likes to go to the doctor but following a few of these suggestions will make you a better patient, will enhance your communication with your doctor, and will improve your health and well-being.