Preparing for YourDoctor Appointment

Before Your Appointment

If it’s your first time visiting this doctor, you should bring:

  • Copies of your medical records. Include test results, lab reports and letters from doctors you’ve seen in the past
  • Your insurance information
  • A list of medications you’re taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, herbal products and vitamins (you can also bring the medicine bottles)
  • The name and number of your pharmacy

Before every doctor appointment, you should:

  • Jot down any medical symptoms you have, when they appeared and anything you've done that's made you feel better or worse
  • Note times and numbers of home tests, such as your temperature
  • List any allergies, especially those concerning medicine or food
  • Review your family’s history of serious illnesses or surgeries. “Family” refers to your parents, siblings and grandparents on both sides
  • Review your diet and exercise habits, as well as your recent sleeping habits
  • Make a note of any other health concerns you might want to discuss
  • Think about what you want from your doctor on this particular visit

During Your Appointment

Ask your doctor:

  • What their diagnosis is
  • If they will be ordering any tests. If so, ask what they’re hoping to find out
  • If they recommend a treatment plan and how you can prevent a repeat occurrence
  • If you should call to get your results, or if they will call you
  • If you need to make a follow-up appointment
  • If you get a prescription, ask if it has any special instructions or side effects

After Your Appointment

After your appointment, make sure to follow your doctor's advice, and remember to make and keep any recommended follow-up appointments.

Call your doctor's office if:

  • You have questions about the instructions
  • You feel worse
  • You experience worrisome side effects from any medication
  • If other problems appear