Imagine your physicians just finished evaluating your problem. Maybe they ordered some tests. Then they prescribed some therapy. Before you leave, their office scheduled you for a follow-up visit in a few weeks. When should you not keep that appointment?
I grew up in a family without physicians, so every little thing in medical school was new to me. Routines and procedures that were second-nature to classmates both challenged and fascinated me.
After I entered practice, I tended to explain every little thing to patients, remembering what I didn't know before medical school. So when I outlined my instructions to each patient, I'd say, "If I don't hear from you before your next appointment, I'll assume:
- You are taking your medicines as prescribed.
- You are not having any problems with the medicine.
- Your problem is improving.
- You have no new problems.
Healthy Survivors know that unless their physicians specify otherwise, follow-up appointments are scheduled with the understanding that everything is going as expected and the problem is improving. When in doubt between office visits, they call!