Written by Kristopher Schamber, MD – Sheridan Memorial Hospital’s Internal Medicine Practice
April 17, 2019
A medical appointment is one of the most important interactions a person has in any given day, and most visits are complicated with a great deal of information flowing from the patient, to the physician or other provider, and back. The list below provides important tips to help you prepare for your visit and take an active role once it is upon you, so that you get the most out of the appointment.
- Write down a list of questions and concerns before your exam, and prioritize them.
- Update your doctor on any major changes in your healthcare – recent ER visits, hospitalizations, or medication changes by other providers.
- Bring a list of all your prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines (OTC or non-prescription), vitamins, and herbal remedies or supplements, including the dose and timing of each dose.
- Ask your doctor or other member of the care team for an updated medication list at the end of your appointment.
- Bring a copy of your advanced directives (living will, power of attorney, POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) form)
- Bring your insurance cards and the names and phone numbers of your other doctor(s)
- Consider bringing a close friend or family member with you. This person can help to remember questions you had for the doctor, record information during the appointment, and help you remember the information afterwards.
- Speak your mind. Tell your doctor how you feel, including things that may seem unimportant or embarrassing.
- If you don’t understand something, ask questions until you do.
- Take notes about what the doctor says, or ask a friend or family member to take notes for you.
- Ask for written materials related to the issues discussed during your visit.
- Remember that other members of your health care team, such as nurses, pharmacists, physical or occupational therapists and others can be good sources of information.
- Don’t be afraid to call or email your doctor, or use the online patient portal (MySheridanHealth.com).