Making the Most of Your Doctor’s Appointment

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The average visit with your healthcare provider is about 20 minutes. You will want to make the most of your time with your healthcare provider. Here are several strategies that we recommend:

Preparing for your appointment

  1. Bring a list of current medications and make a copy for your healthcare provider.
  2. Prepare a list of important questions to ask during your appointment.
  3. Provide information or results you obtained from other health resources.
  4. Include others, such as your significant other and/or caregiver, in preparing for the appointment.

During your appointment

  1. Ask your most important questions first.
  2. Be honest when describing symptoms.
  3. Create an action plan with your healthcare provider for managing your condition and dealing with episodes.
  4. At the end of the appointment, review any decisions and next steps with the medical professional.
  5. Take notes during the appointment.

After your appointment

  1. Maintain communication with your healthcare provider.
  2. Get a second opinion from another healthcare provider. Most doctors encourage them.

Contacting a Specialist or Primary Care Provider

  • Most primary care physicians encourage the advice of a specialist.
  • If you have not created an action plan with your primary care provider, do so with your specialist.
  • If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.