Preparing for a Visit with Your Healthcare Provider

Do you find that you make an appointment with your doctor, only to forget half your questions once you’re in the exam room? Does your doctor ask you questions during a visit that you can’t answer? Preparing for a doctor visit can help you get the most out of your healthcare. Below are tips for helping you prepare for a visit to your doctor or other healthcare provider.

Healthcare provider handing bottle of pills to woman sitting on exam table.

What to Bring to Your Doctor Visit

  • A list of your medications

  • A list of other healthcare providers you see

  • Information about your family history

  • A list of questions you have and anything you want to tell your doctor

  • A family member or friend to help you

Gather Your Medical History

To do this:

  • Write down all the medications and supplements you take. Include the dose and number of times a day you take it. Or, if you wish, just put everything in a bag and take it with you.

  • Make a list of names of other healthcare providers you see for treatment.

Gather Your Family History

On a piece of paper, write your name and the names of your brothers and sisters. Below that, write the names of your parents, aunts, and uncles. Below that, write the names of your grandparents. Next to each name, write the person’s date of birth and list any health problems you know about. If the person has died, note the date and cause of death.

Organize Your Thoughts

Make a list of what you want to tell your doctor and questions you want to ask. Mention how you’ve been feeling since your last visit. Speak up about any changes you’ve noticed, new symptoms you have, or anything else the doctor should know.

A Family Member or Friend Can Help

Ask a family member or friend to come with you to the doctor. They can:

  • Drive you to and from your visit.

  • Make you feel comfortable and more confident.

  • Remind you what you planned to tell or ask.

  • Take notes.

  • Help you remember what the HCP says.

Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers (HCPs) give general medical care and guide patients through the medical system.

Healthcare providers can be doctors:

  • Family practice doctors

  • Internal medicine doctors

  • Obstetricians and gynecologists (for women)

HCPs can also be other trained medical professionals:

  • Physician’s assistant

  • Physical therapist

  • Nurse practitioner

  • Social worker

  • Speech therapist

  • Psychologist

  • Dietitian

  • Nurse

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 12/15/2011
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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