Communication is key to making the most out of your visit. A little preparation before your appointment can help you to address all your questions involving any new or ongoing health problems.
When you schedule your appointment: Be clear about the purpose of your visit. Specify if you’re coming in for an annual check-up, pregnancy, a particular medical problem, or an ongoing health condition.
Before your appointment: Write down a list of specific questions and concerns that you want to discuss with your provider. Make a list of any symptoms that you have experienced.
Always take a list of your current medications—both prescribed and over-the-counter—and supplements that you take with you to your appointment.
During your visit: Address the most pressing issues first—even the embarrassing ones—so you won’t forget to discuss them. If you don’t understand something that your provider has said, don’t hesitate to ask for an additional explanation.
Be upfront about all aspects of your health and lifestyle when your provider asks about your medical background. Complete and honest answers about your personal and family health histories, your current diet and exercise habits, sexual practices, and whether you use tobacco, alcohol, or drugs will help your doctor give the best advice for your health needs.
Being prepared before your visit can help you and your provider make the most of your time together.