How to Prepare for a Doctor’s Appointment

Have you ever been to a doctor’s appointment, then, on your way home, realized you forgot to ask your doctor about a particular issue you’ve been having? Us, too, which is why we understand that being prepared for your visits is important. How? Implement these tips before you enter that exam room!

Make Sure Your Family History Is Up-to-Date

Genetics plays a big part in diagnosing some diseases. That’s why your doctor must have your up-to-date family health history. If anything has changed since your last visit, provide the office with that information. For instance, if someone in your immediate family was diagnosed with cancer or had a heart attack, let your doctor know. This information could help your doctor predict your risk factors and provide you with additional information on staying healthy.

Write Down Your Questions and Concerns

Whether you’re seeing a new provider or the same one for years, it’s best to make a list of questions and concerns you’d like to discuss with them in the exam room. Questions may pertain to recent symptoms, updated vaccines, day-to-day treatments, supplemental information, etc. Be sure to put the most important questions and concerns at the top of the list so you can get the answers you need if your doctor is pressed for time.

Bring a List of All Medications You Take

Your doctor needs a current list of all medications you take to watch for interactions. Prescriptions, OTC medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements all count. This list will also help if your doctor needs to prescribe you anything new. If you’re unsure what dosages you take or how to spell them, bring the bottles to give your doctor accurate information.

Prepare to Be Honest

In-person office visits can be overwhelming. Some topics may make you feel embarrassed, ashamed, or uncomfortable. Even still, you need to be honest with your PCP. Prep yourself. Go over any issues out loud so you can get used to saying the words. Your doctor is here to help you with your health, so don’t hold back.

Additional Ways to Prep:

  • Write down other doctors or specialists you’ve recently seen.
  • Note if you’ve been to the emergency room for any reason.
  • Be sure to pack your insurance card and ID.
  • Write down current symptoms (or previous symptoms and how they’ve changed).
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