What simple things could a patient do that would make a doctor’s job easier?


You never know when illness or injury can happen. Be prepared like you are going to be brought, unresponsive to the hospital, even if you are just going for a doctor visit. This is most especially directed at older people with multiple medical problems.

Always carry an updated list of your medications and allergies. Keep it in your wallet. If that isn’t possible, bring your pill bottles. Just scoop them into a bag and hand it to the nurse. Family members can help you, if needed.

If you have a DNR, tape it to the inside of your medicine cabinet. Paramedics know to look for it there. Make sure your loved ones know your wishes and the location of this document.

Wear a medical alert bracelet if you have a serious chronic condition where you could become unresponsive. (Epileptic, diabetics and cardiac patients with implanted devices, I’m talking to you.)

Know your medical history and make sure a designated member of your family or a friend knows. If you can’t remember, write it down. It’s not that helpful to hear that you have a “heart problem”. Which one? A delay in treatment could cost you your life.

These steps don’t just my life easier, they ensure that you get timely, appropriate, safe care. That, my friend, is the most important part.

Credit: Maureen Boehm

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