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July 5, 2023

12 Ways to Prepare for a Doctor’s Appointment

To make the most of your time with your physician, a little preparation can go a long way. When thinking about your medical concerns, it can be helpful to prioritize them to ensure that these are addressed.

Checklist: How to prepare for your first visit with your new primary care doctor

  1. Transfer your medical records so your new doctor will have a better understanding of your medical history.
  2. Know your preferred pharmacy location and phone number.
  3. Write down a list of your medications and dosages.
  4. Include any vitamins, supplements, herbal remedies or any other alternative health treatments you’ve tried.
  5. Fill out any requested forms, such as family health history, in advance.
  6. Gather emergency room summaries, discharge papers, X-ray or MRI images, and other test results to bring with you.
  7. Think about any questions you have for your doctor. Write them down to help you remember to ask them during your appointment.
  8. If you’ve been experiencing any recent symptoms, keep a journal of your symptoms and when you’re experiencing them. Bring this with you.
  9. Bring a pen and paper to take any notes about what your doctor tells you.
  10. Consider bringing a friend or family member if you feel that would benefit you. But remember, this is your time with your doctor, so make sure your companion understands what if any help you’d like from them during the appointment, or if you just want them to listen and take notes.
  11. Bring your insurance card.
  12. If you feel more comfortable speaking in another language, contact the doctor’s office in advance to see if an interpreter can be arranged.

If you need helping finding the perfect primary care provider for you, download our Guide to Choosing a Primary Care Physician here.

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