To help you establish the best possible relationship with your health care provider, it is important to prepare for your appointment.
Before Your Appointment
- If this is a first visit, make sure your previous medical records are available to your new doctor. Arrange to have copies of your records sent to your new physician.
- Be prepared to provide a complete medical history, including information regarding illnesses, conditions and treatments, surgeries and a family medical history.
- Bring any prescription and over-the-counter medications, herbs and nutritional supplements you are taking in their original containers.
- Provide a list of any past prescriptions you have taken for previous medical conditions.
- Tell your physician about any allergies you may have or any adverse reactions to medications you have experienced.
- Bring a photo identification card and insurance card.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- What is my diagnosis, and how can it be treated or prevented?
- What medication should I be taking, how much and how often?
- Are there any common side effects I should be aware of?
- Should I avoid certain foods, juice or alcohol while taking the medicine?
- Does my illness or injury restrict me from any of my normal daily life activities?
- Who and when should I call for test results?
- Is the medication being prescribed covered by my health plan?
Tips for Communicating with Your Doctor
It is important to communicate your feelings, questions and concerns with your physician. The following suggestions may help to improve communication between you and your physician:
- If you do not understand your physician's responses, ask questions until you do.
- Take notes, or ask a family member or friend to accompany you and take notes for you. You can also record it so you can review information later.
- Ask your physician to write down his/her instructions, if necessary.
- Ask your physician where you can find printed material about your condition. Many physicians have this information in their offices.
- If you still have questions, ask the physician where you can go for more information.