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Make the most of your healthcare appointments

Both diagnosis and care for ME and Long-COVID are complex. Many doctors in BC have limited knowledge of these illnesses. Symptoms are many and varied, and hard to monitor and explain. Most doctor visits are short and can only address one or two issues at a time. But if you are well-prepared and use some of the tips below, you can have an effective, collaborative healthcare visit each time.

Before your visit: understand who you are meeting

Doctor with a stethoscope_edited_edited.

A future module of this email series will cover how to handle going to emergency or seeing a specialist for other health issues when you have ME/Long-COVID.

If you have no family doctor, see here.

Preparing for your visit

Useful worksheets for working with your doctor
Should you bring your “internet research” in with you when you see your doctor? See here.

Add appointment details to your calendar.


Send medical records. Complete any paperwork.


Use appointment checklist to stay organized.


Prepare Symptom Summary for doctor. Decide if Medication, Supplement and Treatment records might also be helpful for your doctor.


Print out and start to fill in the Medical Appointment Log form to use during your appointment. Make sure you record your top priority issues and questions before you go.


Plan how you will get to and from your appointment and if anyone will come with you (make sure they know the time, date and location).

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How to talk to your doctor

Information, preparation, and follow-up for your healthcare appointment

Before your visit
During your visit

Use your Medical Appointment Log to guide the conversation and record information.  Provide any other worksheets you have brought in. ​Tell the doctor the most important symptoms, questions, or issues you want to discuss (in order of importance). 

Ask the doctor answers, questions or make suggestions, record what s/he is saying immediately (you may forget by the end of the session). Ask them to repeat anything if required.

Don’t hesitate to ask the doctor for a verbal or written summary of the key points from the appointment:


  • Follow-up items such as new treatments to try or tests to take.

  • Dates such as when you can expect any results or a response from a referral.

  • Next appointment details, including if there are specific issues to report back on.

  • Any medication/prescription or diagnosis details. 


Be aware:


It is very possible that you will have a positive, productive meeting with your healthcare provider. However, especially if you are meeting with a new specialist or family doctor:

  • There are cases where you may have had a previous diagnosis of ME or Long-COVID that is not accepted by a new provider.

  • It is possible that a new provider has not heard of your illness, knows little about it or believes it is fundamentally a mental illness, rather than a physiological illness. Be aware of any hints in this regard and ask questions about any referrals or other suggestions you do not understand.

  • It is possible that a provider has outdated information regarding appropriate care for your illnesses. See the treatments [link to the treatments section where it discussed CBT and GET] section of our “Dispelling Myths” module  (coming module) page for additional information. 

After your visit

Before you leave the office:


  • ​Do you need to set up a next appointment? Do it now if you can, and enter it into your calendar immediately, if you can.

  • Did you get any prescriptions you were given?

  • Do you have all the instructions and other information you were given?

If you get home and need clarification or reminder of anything, do not hesitate to call the office with your questions.

Back at home:

​Follow the care instructions you and your provider agreed to as closely as you can. And record the outcomes.

Continue to use whichever tracking tools and summaries worked well for you and your healthcare provider.  If you can get help for any of these from family or friends (such as tracking supplements and medications), do not hesitate to do so.

Update any family or caregivers on new medications, treatments, or information that they should understand.

This is Britt, one of our account manage
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