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How to Prepare for a Doctor’s Appointment

How to Prepare for a Doctor’s Appointment

A basic plan can help you make the most of your appointment whether you are starting with a new doctor or continuing with the doctor you’ve seen for years. The following tips will make it easier for you and your doctor to cover everything you need to talk about.

Due to COVID-19, health care providers may increase use of telehealth services. You can talk to your health care provider online through video or email, or by phone. If you must visit in person, take precautions to protect yourself and others and follow your health care provider’s instructions.

Make a list and prioritize your concerns

Make a list of what you want to discuss. For example, do you have a new symptom you want to ask the doctor about? Do you want to get a flu shot? Are you concerned about how a treatment is affecting your daily life? If you have more than a few items to discuss, put them in order and ask about the most important ones first. Don’t put off the things that are really on your mind until the end of your appointment-bring them up right away! The Talking With Your Doctor worksheets can help.

Take information with you to the doctor

Some doctors suggest you put all your prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal remedies or supplements in a bag and bring them with you. Others recommend you bring a list of everything you take and the dose. You should also take your insurance cards, names and phone numbers of other doctors you see, and your medical records if the doctor doesn’t already have them.

Consider bringing a family member or friend to the doctor’s office

Sometimes it is helpful to bring a family member or close friend with you. Let your family member or friend know in advance what you want from your visit. Your companion can remind you what you planned to discuss with the doctor if you forget. Read more