People will be a big part of your success – and no person is more important than your dermatologist. Taking some time to prepare for your appointments will help ensure that you communicate openly and effectively and cover what you need to know.

Almost half of psoriasis patients in Canada have not seen a health care provider in the past 12 months for their psoriasis. To make matters worse, there is a decline in the number of dermatologists across the country and getting in to see one can be very difficult. Many patients wait a minimum of six weeks in urban areas and much longer (up to two years!) in rural areas.

When you finally have an appointment, make the most of the very limited time you may have with your dermatologist. Follow these simple steps so you will leave your appointment armed with the information and advice that you came for.

Before your appointment:

Your medical history is an important piece for your dermatologist. Do your homework and write down your history and any concerns that you may have before going to your appointment. This will save you time and will give you confidence that you have provided your dermatologist with all the critical information he or she requires.

Make a list of:

Always take a note pad and pen and take notes. You will be glad to have the information after your appointment to refer back to, and you will avoid forgetting anything important. If you can, take a trusted friend or relative with you, they will be able to help you remember what was said and be valuable support.

During your appointment:

It is important to have an open flow of communication with your dermatologist. Make sure all your questions are answered in a way that you understand. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification if you don't understand something, or ask for it be explained again more simply.

Preparation is key. Taking the time prepare for your appointment in advance will allow you to engage in a meaningful discussion with your dermatologist. You will come away ready to put your prevention and treatment plan into action!