Like how to get in and out of the waiting room faster.
"Friends always want tricks for making a trip to the hospital faster. The truth is, unless you arrive between 3 a.m. and 9 a.m. - or are facing a truly life-threatening emergency - you're probably going to have to wait. So I suggest people use that time to prep an answer to the doctor's first question: 'What brings you in today?'
Get your story down to about three sentences that cover the specifics of your current symptoms. Details like 'I had high blood pressure years ago' aren't helpful and can send us down the wrong path. Instead, talk about what you've been feeling and when:
'I've been getting winded over the last couple of weeks, and now my chest has started to hurt. The symptoms get worse when I climb the stairs to my condo. It usually stops after I've been sitting for minutes or so.' I'd know right away that something was wrong with your heart and we needed to rule out a heart attack."
- Andra Blomkalns, M.D., vice chair of academic a airs in the department of emergency medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas