Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Practicing MA's Advice for Patients Visiting a Physician


This post is from Linda Shaw Vitzhum, a CMA (AAMA) in Melbourne, Florida. She posted this originally on Facebook, and it is reprinted here with permission.

She offers great advice for MAs and their patients. Thanks, Linda!

"I had a friend post on things about the doctor's office that are annoying, and I thought it brought up some great points. Conversely, I would like to bring up the things that patients should do to make their experience a better one.

1. Before having labs drawn/tests performed, ask when you can expect results. Some tests take a while for the results to come in. The staff should have a general idea, hopefully of when these should be made available. If the tests are going to determine what course of treatment you will receive, the office should offer to make you a return appointment to discuss with the physician.

2. If you're like me, you will forget all of the wonderful questions you meant to ask the physician. Good medical assistants like me will never complain if you write stuff down. Write down some questions, bring in a log of what's applicable for that doctor (i.e. blood pressure for the internist, temperature logs for the infectious disease doctor) and for the love of all that is holy WRITE DOWN WHAT MEDICATIONS YOU'RE TAKING and include strength and dosing information!!!!

3. If your physician's office has a way for you to communicate electronically with them, sign up for it. The patients I can communicate with this way are generally very happy with the speed that I can get back to them.

4. Show up on time or call the office if you're going to be late. It's hard for me not to "lose" a person if he/she is very late and I've already roomed 4-5 patients that were scheduled after that person.

5. Ask what the qualifications are of the person who is rooming/discharging you. I can explain to you what a certified medical assistant is, the type of education I have, and what I do to maintain my certification. Because I'm good at what I do."