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HomeYour HealthConditionsArthritisLet’s talk arthritis: 5 tips to make the most of your doctor visitLet’s Talk Arthritis: 5 Tips to Make The Most of Your Doctor Visit

Published on Oct 01, 2022

Authored by Pfizer Medical Team

Living with arthritis requires regular appointments and this time with your doctor is extremely important. Read on for tips on how to make the most of your doctor visit – virtual or in-person.

1. SCHEDULE CONVERSATIONS, NOT APPOINTMENTS
  • Think of your time with your doctor as a conversation: two people working together to manage your arthritis.

  • Your conversation with your doctor is a 2-way street – feel comfortable asking questions.

2. PREPARE IN ADVANCE AND PRIORITISE QUESTIONS 
  • To maximise your time, be prepared to update your doctor on your arthritic symptoms and how it may be impacting your ability to complete activities. If needed, write down your questions to help you remember when talking with your doctor.

  • Before any virtual appointments, test the functionality of your video and microphone on the device that you are using. 

  • Be sure to consider the placement of your video camera so that the lighting is good, and your provider can see you clearly.

3. YOU KNOW YOURSELF THE BEST 
  • Your doctor is an expert in understanding how to treat arthritis, but from head to toe, you know your body better than anyone. 

  • Be honest when speaking with your doctor about how you’re really doing. 

  • This becomes even more important when you are seeing your doctor virtually, as they are counting on you to share information that can help them understand how well your management plan is helping your condition.

4. BE SPECIFIC AND HONEST
  • When your doctor asks you: “How are you doing?” try to use more descriptive words about your arthritic symptoms than simply stating “fine,” “good” or “OK.” 

  • Be honest with yourself and your doctor and healthcare team about how you are doing regarding your goals and symptom management, as well as your day-to-day wins and struggles. 

  • If privacy is a concern during virtual appointments, make sure you are in a location where you can speak freely – especially if you live with others. 

5. SET GOALS
  • Ask your healthcare provider what you should expect from your management plan and speak up when symptoms significantly impact you.

Download and share this tip sheet below

External Resources

  1. Arthritis Australia A not-for-profit organisation that provides support and information to people with arthritis as well as their families and friends. 1800 011 041 www.arthritisaustralia.com.au

  2. Australian Rheumatology Association Supports and educates members and practitioners in the musculoskeletal field. 02 9252 2356 www.rheumatology.org.au

  3. CreakyJoints Australia Connects people with arthritis with current and relevant disease-specific information and support across a spectrum of arthritis conditions. www.creakyjoints.org.au

  4. Psoriasis Australia Strives to assist people with psoriasis by providing beneficial information and support enabling educated decisions to be made on treatment choices and lifestyle changes. www.psoriasisaustralia.org.au

  5. Pain Australia Works to improve the quality of life of people living with pain, their families and carers, and to minimise the social and economic burden of pain. 02 6232 5588 www.painaustralia.org.au

PP-UNP-AUS-0109 09/22
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