Make sure you are wearing a good quality mask the entire time, at least a three-ply surgical mask or an N95 or KN95 mask. Bring your own water but try not to take off your mask unless absolutely necessary. The office should have lots of hand sanitizer, but bring your own and use it after touching frequently used surfaces like doorknobs.
Also ask if the in-person visit is absolutely necessary. Can a lot be done over the phone, including speaking with the doctor? Maybe all you need to do when you show up is to get a blood draw or a procedure. Can your registration be done in advance to minimize in-person contact?
CNN: What do you say to people who would rather wait until they’re vaccinated before going to the doctor?
Wen: This might be a reasonable decision, depending on why you’re going to the doctor and how long you might need to wait until you’re vaccinated.
Let’s say that you don’t have anything urgent going on right now, and you can get almost everything taken care of through telemedicine. Maybe all you need is a routine dental cleaning and your annual cholesterol check. Let’s say also that you’re an essential worker, you are over 65, and you probably can get the vaccine in the next couple of months. If that’s the case, you should discuss with your doctor, but it might make sense to get vaccinated first and then go for your routine appointments.
If you’re not likely to be vaccinated until the late spring or early summer, that’s a bit long to put off your regular appointments. It’s probably better to go now and consolidate all the in-person tests and procedures into one visit.
In general, if you have ongoing medical conditions that require an in-person visit, and certainly if you have an urgent issue, you should go to your doctor. Follow all precautions to reduce your risk. Coronavirus is one of the reasons people could get sick and suffer ill health outcomes, but you must also watch out for your health in all other ways, too.