8 Simple Ways to Make the Most Of Your Next Doctor Visit!

(And maybe even make some money!)

Going to the doctor’s office can be a pain. You’re usually sick or hurt and don’t get me started on the waiting! But, it doesn’t have to be so bad. Your doctor is there to help, and there are things you can do to get even more out of your next doctor visit.

Doctor Visits don't have to be so painful and unproductive!
Image Courtesy Pixabay

Have you ever walked out and realized you forget to talk about something or are unclear of what was talked about? Ever feel like you’re being rushed through the appointment? Here are some tips to make every visit as successful as it can be. The Thrifty Patient is here to help you plan to make the most out of your next doctor visit!

1. Treat yourself like your time is worth at least $150.00 per hour!

 Photo by energepic.com from Pexels
Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

You are the CEO, President, and Sole Proprietor of your body. Your time is valuable! Go into the doctor visit with a mission, goals, and the attitude that you’re here to meet with a highly skilled contractor of the most valuable business on the planet, Me. Inc. 

2. Write down your agenda, but limit it to 2 or 3 major topics.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Would you believe patients talked about everything they went to the office for on only 21% of doctor visits!

Make sure you set the agenda. Be concise and upfront about why you’re there. The doctor will appreciate it and you’ll be able to leave the office feeling confident that every issue was taken care of.

3. Don’t let the 12-18 second rule get you during your brief Doctor Visit!

Photo by Sonja Langford on Unsplash

12 – 18 Seconds… “That’s the average time it takes a doctor to interrupt you as you’re describing your symptoms. By that point, he/she has in mind what the answer is, and that answer is probably right about 80% of the time.”
– Dr. Groopman

Doctors are highly skilled problem solvers. They quickly want to help you with your health. But when people are nervous they might need a little time to work up to what they want to say. Your doctor won’t take offense if you calmly say there’s more you want to tell them. In fact I’m sure they’ll be happy you gave them even more info to work with!



Trust me, your doctor has seen it all. By keeping details to yourself that you find embarrassing, you leave vital clues out of the picture. Personally, I’m proud when I do manage to shock my doctor, like the time I got Pink Eye so badly the doc exclaimed “Whoa!”.

5. Write It Down Before You Leave!

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Going to the doctor is stressful. Studies show 40% to 80% of what you’re told is forgotten before you leave! I mean come-on, it takes doctors years of training to learn all this stuff, how are you supposed to remember it when sick and worried?

Before you leave the office, write down what the doctor tells you and use the Teach-Back method to make sure you got it straight.

As the doctor is telling you what will happen next, write it down, then at the end say “Ok Doc, let me make sure I’ve understood all you said”. You’ll be surprised, you might even think of questions while you recite it back to them!

6. Check Those Meds!

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St. Joseph’s recommends that, for your safety, you keep a list of all your medications and bring that list with you whenever you visit your doctor. The doctor will appreciate it and it might save you a costly visit in the future to correct a mistake.

Here’s a great link to a medication sheet that St. Joseph’s created which you can fill out before your next visit!

7. Save on Drugs

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One in seven people don’t get their prescriptions because they cost too much. Part of the reason The Thrifty Patient was created is to help end this. If you’re having trouble paying for drugs, ask about a discount drug card during your next doctor visit. They’re free and offices usually have a stack lying around.

They also may have samples. Trust me, if they have samples they want to get them off their hands and into the hands of patients who can use them!

8. Want Free Money? Check Your HSA!

Photo by maitree rimthong from Pexels

Do you have a Health Savings Account (HSA)? Some employers have their HSAs setup so that if you complete a physical, dental, and eye appointment – or meet other conditions – they’ll contribute a ton of money to it. This could be hundreds of dollars of free money!

If you do have an HSA check with your employer to see if they offer this perk. Then on your next Doctor visit plan to get that physical done. It might also catch a problem that you can fix now rather then later!

Find Out About All the Money You’re Losing if you have a High Deductible Plan but No HSA in our upcoming April article!


Why Thrifty Patient? – 3 Honest Reasons

Why Thrifty Patient? is the very first question you should ask yourself when visiting our website. How can you spot a health care savings website that puts your interests first from one that doesn’t? Let’s talk about three ways Thrifty Patient stands apart. You’ll quickly see Why Thrifty Patient is source for your medical news!

Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos on Unsplash


1. Why Thrifty Patient? – Because we have a Vision for Medical Savings

“We envision a world where a patient’s finances are never a barrier to treatment and where finances are respected as a co-equal pillar of health alongside the pillars of body, mind, spirit, and community”

We believe in practicing what we preach. At Thrifty Patient every post and article will be created to work for you. If you ever think that’s not the case, we want you to call us out on it!


2. Why Thrifty Patient?  Because We Work For You

Our articles are written not to convince, but to inform. This is an important distinction. Many businesses out there will market to you with the goal being to convince you of something. Most of them are pretty slick about it, ever watch an ad for food and get hungry?

Our goals are much different. We feel knowledge is power, and the more you know about personal healthcare economics, the more empowered you are. If you leave our site empowered to spend less on healthcare then we know we’ve done our job.

Two great examples of the work we do:

Generic Vs. Brand Name: The Shocking Price Difference of the 10 Most Common Drugs

How can I learn about Drug Recalls?


3. Why Thrifty Patient? – Look at Our Commitment to Partner Transparency

While we do make money from affiliate links, sponsors, and advertisers we promise you that we’ll always be 100% transparent about it. Not only that, but we’ll never take money from a group or to promote a product that we don’t believe in or that doesn’t put your best interests first. The moment we intentionally stop putting your interests first is the day we close this site.

All that being said, talk is cheap. We hope you stick around for the ride and we hope we can make a difference in your financial health. If even one person leaves this site empowered from something they read, then we consider it all to have been well worth the effort!

Why Thrifty Patient? Because We Got Your Back!

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The Thrifty Patient Launches March 15th, 2019!

Launch Announcement!

‘Schedule’ a visit to our website March 15th! The Thrifty Patient is dedicated to helping you save money on your healthcare expenses.

Launch of the Thrifty Patient

“Give people what they need: food, medicine, clean air, pure water, trees and grass, pleasant homes to live in, some hours of work, more hours of leisure. Don’t ask who deserves it.

Every human being deserves it.”

Howard Zinn, –Marx in Soho: A Play on History