A little preparation by the patient can go a long way towards making a new doctor’s appointment a less stressful,
smooth and productive experience.

I have prepared a check list of 10 items that I believe, will help in this regard.

 

Checklist for doctor’s appointment

 

___ 1. Name:  The name that you use for all your medical documents should be exactly as it appears on your primary insurance card.

 

___ 2. History of Illness: Be prepared to describe your illness in detail. Do not assume that your health care provider has obtained all necessary information about you from “the computer.”

 

___ 3. Symptoms: Note when your symptoms began. If there was an injury or accident,  make sure that you have the exact date, and the circumstances.

 

___ 4. Past Medical History:  Note ALL major illnesses, hospital admissions, and surgeries, major and minor, implanted devices, and no matter how far back in time. Give the dates.

 

___ 5. Family History: You may be asked about any chronic illness or cancer in your family.

 

___ 6. Social History: Life style issues such as cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, use of illegal drugs, may impact your response to treatment. Co-morbidities often have to be addressed before a successful outcome can be achieved.

 

___ 7. Medications:  Provide a list of ALL your medications including, dosage, how taken, and for what reason.  Vitamins, supplements, over the counter, and non-prescription must also be listed.  Mention all your allergies.

 

___ 8. Imaging Studies: Bring the reports and the actual pictures or CD of any X-rays, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, which you may have in your possession.

 

___ 9. Questions: Make a list of the most important questions that you have, and do not forget to ask them

 

___ 10. Expectations:  Be certain about your expectations, and make sure that you communicate this to your healthcare provider. You should be told what is realistic, and what is not.  Remember that doctors do not create immortality!

 

Click here to download checklist