Etiquette Guidelines To Follow When Visiting The Doctor’s Office

When you're in a situation you've been in many times before, you typically follow the etiquette guidelines associated with that situation without really thinking about it. For example, there's an etiquette associated with taking an elevator — you let people out before getting in, and you step back after pressing the button. When it comes to visiting the doctor's office, you may not be sure of the etiquette that applies, since many people visit the doctor infrequently. Most doctors and their staff are understanding if you do something a bit outside of expected etiquette, but you should still do your best to adhere to these guidelines.

1. Don't go into the "well" waiting room if you may be contagious.

Many doctor's offices have two waiting rooms — one for "well" visits and checkups, and one for patients who are visiting the doctor due to illness. This arrangement is intended to help keep well people from becoming sick when they visit the doctor. Make sure you read the signs carefully so you do not go into the wrong waiting room. Understandably, well patients may be upset if you're sick and sit in their waiting room because you misread the sign.

2. Arrive a little early.

There is often some paperwork you'll need to fill out prior to your visit. So, arrive at least 10 minutes early to your appointment so that you have a chance to do this beforehand. Some doctors have the reputation of always running late, but you do not want to assume yours will be behind. If your doctor is on time and you are not, you'll be the patient responsible for holding everyone else's appointments for the day, and that's not nice!

3. Come with a list of questions.

Surely you have questions for the doctor. It is considered proper etiquette to come with those questions prepared. Type them up on your phone or write them down on paper. This way, you can ask them promptly rather than spending half the appointment distracted and trying to conjure up your memory. Coming with prepared questions not only shows you are respectful of the doctor's time but also that you're dedicated to making the most of your visit.

If you follow the guidelines above, you will be adhering to the most important etiquette that comes with visiting the doctor. Don't worry if you slip up a little; it happens. Just try to pay more attention next time.

For more information, contact a doctor's office in your area.