Preparing for a Doctor's Appointment

Whether it's going for a regular check up or seeing someone for a second opinion, doctor's appointments can often feel overwhelming. You may worry about getting bad news or feel concerned about the tests that may need to be performed. However, getting ready prior to the appointment can help decrease your anxiety. However, with a little preparation, you can look forward to an easy, productive visit.

6 Things You Can Do To Prepare for a Doctor's Appointment

6 to do's before a doctor's visit

  1. Create a list of current medications. Include the name of the medication, dosage, and how often you take it. It is a good idea to print this list off and keep it inside your wallet; as well as give a copy to a close friend or relative. Make a note of any concerns or questions you have about the medications you are taking.
  2. Remember your allergies or sensitivities. Include medications, foods and body care products. Often a food allergy can be associated with a medication so those are just as important to note.
  3. Document your family history. Be prepared to answer many questions about family history. If there are things that are very specific or you think you may forget, make sure to write them down.
  4. Bring your medical records. Your primary physician likely already has access to your full medical record, but make sure you communicate any changes or concerns since your last visit. If you are seeing a new doctor, call their office ahead of time to coordinate the delivery of your records. Prepare to communicate key issues from your medical history and be proactive about sharing issues you think are important. Finally, bring copies of films and test results that were performed since last seeing this doctor.
  5. Write down your questions. Due to the stress and anxiety that you may feel at the doctor's office, sometimes it is difficult to remember all the health questions you have had leading up to the appointment. To make sure you ask them, write your questions down ahead of time.
  6. Bring a family member or friend. Having support at your appointments can be helpful for a number of reasons. Your partner can help you remember what the doctor said during the appointment, they can help ask questions you may not think of, and of course, the extra moral support comes in handy too.

Think about or write down these six things and bring them to your next appointment. That way, you'll feel more relaxed and be more likely to cover what's important in your visit.

About this Blog

The Penn Heart and Vascular blog provides the latest information on heart disease prevention, nutrition and breakthroughs in cardiovascular care.

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