Today more than ever people are encouraged to take an active role in managing their health. You can exercise, eat right and even self-manage some chronic conditions with minimal medical supervision. You can also improve the quality of care you receive when needed by being prepared when visiting your doctor. Following are some of the ways you can get prepared for an initial doctor's visit and make the most of the time you have together.
Be ready to provide information about your family's medical history, especially diseases that run in your family.
Be prepared to describe your past and current health problems and any treatments you received.
Bring medical records, test results and immunization records.
Make a list of the medications you are taking, including dose and frequency. Also include this information about any herbs, vitamins and supplements.
Make a list of your allergies.
Be prepared to tell the truth. Don't be afraid or embarrassed that your doctor may disapprove of your alcohol use, drug use, sexual matters or anything that may help them provide the most appropriate care. Your doctor is there to care for you.
If you have questions you want answered, write them down and bring them with you.
Write down any new information or new instructions you may receive.
Five good questions to ask your doctor
What routine screenings or immunizations do I need?
What is my condition and what is causing it?
If my condition doesn't improve, how long do I wait to call or return for a visit?
When will I get the results of my test(s)?
Is a follow up call or visit needed?