What to Bring with You to Your Doctor/Care Provider Visit
You can make the most out of your time with your doctor/care provider by bringing information with you. This information can help you remember what you want to talk about during the visit, or if you have trouble speaking up, this information can “do the talking for you.”
- Bring a list of any questions and/or concerns you have. For example: “I heard about this medication for cholesterol, what do you think of it?” Or a concern like: “My grandfather has had strokes; I worry I am at risk too”
- If you are sick, bring a list of your symptoms, like fever, trouble sleeping, or headaches. Include details about your symptoms, like how long you have had them, what triggers them, and when they occur
- Bring a list of prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements you take. Include the name of what you are taking, how often you take it (example: once a day), when you take it (example: morning), what the dosage is (example: 10mg), and why you are taking it (example: high blood pressure). Or, put everything in a bag and bring it!
- Bring a medical history, or a list of illnesses and injuries that affect you and your family. This can include broken bones, surgeries, diseases, and any illness or injury you have now. You can also include information about your parents or grandparents such as a family history of heart disease or arthritis
- Bring a trusted friend or family member. This person can ask questions that you might not think to ask or add information you might have forgotten, and s/he can help remember things or take notes. If you want privacy, you can ask the person to step outside during your exam and then join you and your doctor/care provider to talk afterwards
- Bring paper and a pen to take notes. Studies show that patients remember only about a quarter of what their doctor or care provider tells them!