The Doctor’s Note: Be prepared to take an active role in your health

The relationship you develop with your doctor plays a major role in your overall health, but you’re also a major factor in the equation. Your doctor can tell you steps you can take to improve your health, but it is up to you to follow them. When you do this homework before your next doctor’s visit, you’ll be prepared to take a more active role in your health.

According to WebMD® patients who filled out a detailed checklist before an office visit, or received in-office coaching that focused on their health status, asked more questions during their doctor visit and got more satisfaction from the visit. Before your appointment, jot down a current list of all your medications and supplements. Also make note of any symptoms or issues you’ve been experiencing. During your appointment:

  • Tell your doctor what your main health concerns are
  • Give a detailed description of your symptoms
  • Mention any allergies you may have

During your discussion with the doctor, be sure to take notes and ask questions if you don’t understand anything.

In the instance your doctor prescribes medication, or recommends a test, treatment or procedure, consider asking these questions:

  1. Do I really need this test or procedure?
  2. What are the risks and side effects?
  3. Are there simpler and safer options?
  4. What happens if I don’t do anything?
  5. How much does it cost, and will my insurance pay for it?

If you, your doctor and your family decide the procedure is necessary, I have a few final words of advice for you: Research.

Research the provider.

Research the facility.

Research the total cost of the service, as well as your out-of-pocket costs.

If you are a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas member, you can use our provider directory to help you with your research. The provider directory allows you to:

  • Find a doctor, urgent care facility, convenience care or hospital in your plan’s network
  • View side-by-side comparisons of doctors and facilities
  • Review provider and hospital quality information, including user-generated ratings and review
  • Find medical equipment
  • Estimate overall cost of medical services

Whether you’re searching for urgent care, need to make an appointment with a doctor or want to see ratings on doctors or hospitals, our provider directory tool is meant to make the process easier. Just log into BlueAccess® or enter your network information when performing a search. This helps us customize the results to display in-network providers.


Daryl Callahan, D.O., joined BCBSKS in 2017 with 28 years of experience in the medical profession. He is board certified in family practice, and served as a family physician at the Phillips County Hospital and physician partner of HealthCare Associates Medical Center in Phillipsburg. Dr. Callahan served 30 years in the National Guard. He retired as a colonel and was the state surgeon for the Kansas Army National Guard.

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