Going To The Doctor Alone Is Often The Best Choice

I had a strange request, recently. One of my clients asked if I would go with her when she was going to the doctor. I asked her why she would want me to go along.


She explained that when she goes, she becomes tongue tied and can’t seem to focus. She leaves the doctor’s office not knowing what was said and her questions go unanswered.

So, she said, “Go with me. Tell me what was said and get my questions answered.” I replied,”No, I don’t think so.”

I know that people bring family members or friends sometimes when they’re going to the doctor. (When it’s really necessary.)

But, I tell my clients when this particular issue appears, they should prepare for the visit. Sounds basic, right?

Preparing for the visit

A doctor is not your school principal. You’re not going to be scolded or reprimanded.

I remind my client that the doctor is in a service-based business. Sure, went to school for years and his training never seems to end, but so what? He provides a service that you are paying for.

I explained that before going to the appointment, write down all of the questions. Think of what you may have forgotten the last time when talked and explain what it is that concerns you and why.

Always have with you a complete list of your medications. Keep a list of all of your physicians and their phone numbers, as well. You do this, not just for your use, but in case you want him to call another doctor.

Many times, especially, now, physician’s assistants are seeing patients in place of the doctor. That’s OK, because many of these professionals are well trained. But, if you need to ask a doctor a question, do ask to see the doctor.

Going to the doctor in confidence

The key, as I tell my clients, is to remember the doctor is not seeing you for free. He or she receives a considerable salary to spend a few minutes with you – and you are entitled to quality service.

We demand quality service when it comes to our auto repair, our dry cleaner or retailer. The doctor is no exception. It just takes some quiet time to put your requests in writing.

Do I need to write a blog just for this? Yes. It’s important because I want my clients to remain independent.

Getting older does not mean we cannot handle the basics. It doesn’t necessarily mean we need help, or our kids or friends to come with us. We’ve done these tasks all our life and we still can. Just prepare by thinking about what you need and writing it down.

Take my advice for what it is…It’s just, as I see it!


Aging in Place Newsletter

Delivered every 2 weeks. No spam. We will never give your info to anyone else.
Leonard Baer About Leonard Baer

Leonard Baer is an elder law and estate attorney with offices in the Highlands, NC and Wellington, FL. His specialty is the prevention of elder abuse, particularly those who are victim to fraud. Visit his website


  1. Denise Yarmlak says:

    Taking a family member or equivalent, with appropriate Clearance to the doctor with you is a great and smart idea. When older adults go, they often cannot remember what to ask or tell and they may lie out of fear of being put in assisted living. I have been a voluntary patient advocate for close friends ages 40 to 60 facing life threatening conditions. They cannot “hear” or remember what transpired. Imagine an early stage dementia patient. I would never recommend a lawyer do this intimate and loving act.

  2. Manuel Rios says:

    Mr. Baer may have his heart in the right place but has some real issues when it comes to perspective. I hope he retains his abilities far into the future but for many elderly its not that simple. Help those you can but don’t berate those who can’t take care of what you might think are simple tasks. Try a different pair of glasses-you might be surprised at what you see. God Bless

Speak Your Mind