Preparing for an Appointment


To ensure that you get the most out of your appointments with health care providers, you might want to make a list of questions, concerns, or changes that you’d like to discuss with your doctor. In the midst of an appointment, it sometimes easy to forget things that you intended to bring up. Making a list of issues could assist the physician in his or her detective work. Start your list several days in advance of your visit, giving yourself time to think of any additional information that needs to be included. When you arrive at your appointment, ask the receptionist or nurse to make a copy of your list. Give one to the doctor to review at the beginning of your appointment. Review it again at the end of your visit to ensure that all important issues have been addressed to your satisfaction.

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It is also a good idea to bring along a copy of your current medications and supplements. You may save yourself some stress trying to remember spellings and dosages. Reviewing medications and supplements at each appointment is important, especially if you are seeing a new doctor or multiple doctors. Don’t apologize for bringing information and questions to the doctor. A good doctor will appreciate your questions.
Some sample questions might be:

  • What do you think are the most important health issues I need to work on right away?
  • What are the possible side effects of the medication you are suggesting?
  • How can I lose weight?
  • What do you suggest for a healthy diet?
  • When and how are the best ways to get in touch with you?
  • Are you willing to talk with and work with other family members or supporters if I give you permission to do so?

Review our helpful Appointment Prep List as you prepare for a visit with your physician.

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