Preparing for your Appointment with Your Provider
A basic plan can help you make the most of your appointment whether you are starting with a new doctor or provider, or continuing with the doctor you have seen for years.
Always bring to your appointment:
Make a list of your concerns and update your doctor or provider. 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.
Let your doctor or provider know what has happened in your life since your last visit. If you have been treated in the emergency room or by a specialist, tell your doctor right away. Mention any changes you have noticed in your appetite, weight, sleep, or energy level. Also tell your doctor about any recent changes in any medications you take or the effects they have had on you.
Get involved in your care
You will benefit most from a treatment when you know what is happening and are involved in making decisions. Make sure you understand what your treatment involves and what it will or will not do. Have your doctor or provider give you directions and feel free to ask questions. We recommend using the Ask Me 3® Patient to Physician Communication Program.
Consider bringing a family member or friend
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 your doctor if you forget, she or he can take notes for you, and can help you remember what the doctor said.