Checkup Questions. A cartoon picture of a doctor standing in front of a chalkboard.

Taking an active role in our health care can help ensure we receive the best possible care from the doctor. One way to do this is to make sure to get the most out of the office visit by preparing ahead of time. By preparing ahead of time, both you and the doctor will find the visit to be more helpful.

Here are a few tips to follow for what to do before, during, and after a doctor visit.

• Write down 2 or 3 most important questions

• List all medicines and pills including vitamins and supplements

• Record details of symptoms, including when they started and what causes the symptoms to be better or worse

• New patient – bring as much information as possible along with a list of medications

• Ask a family member or friend to come with you for support

During the appointment, do not be afraid to ask about things that are unclear. Take notes or ask a family member or friend to take the notes.  Before the appointment is over, be certain everything on your list has been covered.

After the appointment, be sure to follow the instructions the doctor discussed during the visit.  The instructions may include taking medicine, preparing for a test, or scheduling the next appointment.  

If you have questions after the appointment, contact the clinic and ask to leave a message with the doctor or speak to the nurse.

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