Table 2.

Key Tips for More Effective Primary Care Visits

Tips from physicians to patients:
  • 1) Bring a thoughtful list of your concerns and questions to your visit.

  • 2) Try to prioritize your list and bring up the issues most urgent or important for you at the beginning of the visit.

  • 3) Do not be shy, your doctor has heard everything before and they are here to help you. Try not to save issues that you may perceive as embarrassing or scary for the end of the visit.

  • 4) Ask any questions that you have during your visit.

  • 5) If you have any remaining concerns when the visit is closing, make a plan with your physician for how to address them later.

Tips from patients to physicians:
  • 1) Ask for the patients' agenda early.

  • 2) Explain how many items and the types of concerns that can be covered during a typical visit.

  • 3) Make a plan for concerns that remain after the visit.

  • 4) Leave sufficient space for patients to raise sensitive or private concerns.

  • 5) Be clear about when issues feel “unactionable” or explored as much as possible.