Preparing For Your Visit
A good doctor patient relationship is essential for your continuing good health. You can help develop an optimal relationship by preparing in advance for your scheduled office visits.
If you are preparing for your first visit with a new doctor:
Make sure that your previous medical records are available for review by your new primary care physician. You may arrange to have copies of these records sent from your previous provider directly to your newly selected physician. Your new physician will need to know your past medical history including information regarding past illnesses, conditions and treatments. The doctor will also want to know all about the prescriptions, over-the-counter and herbal medications you are currently taking or may have taken in the past. Be sure to tell your physician about any allergies you may have or any adverse reactions to medications that you have experienced.
If you are being seen for an illness or injury, your physician may ask or need to know:
- How long you have been ill or when the injury occurred? Is there a known cause for your problem? What do you think is the cause of you problem?
- What are the names of the medications you are taking? What dose and how often do you take them? Remember to include any herbal remedies and over-the-counter medications on your list.
- Do you have any allergies?
- If you are in pain, is it steady or periodic; sharp, achy or dull?
- Is your condition getting better or worse? Is there any known cause of this perceived change?
- Have you had this illness/injury before? How was it treated?
- Have you had any changes in body temperature, heart rate or breathing?
- Are you being treated for any other medical conditions?
- Are there any other symptoms or important information your physician should know?
Your physician should tell you:
- What your diagnosis is and how can it be treated or prevented.
- Medication: what you should and should not be taking, how much and how often. If there are any common side effects you should be aware of. If you should avoid certain foods, juice or alcohol while taking the medicine?
- Whether your illness or injury restricts you from any normal daily life activities?
- If you are awaiting test results, who should call whom and when?
Remember that patient involvement always results in better care and a more satisfying physician-patient relationship. If you have any questions, feel comfortable asking your physician.
If you have a prescription benefit, remind your doctor which insurance company is responsible for your coverage. This will allow your doctor to determine if the medication you need is covered by your health plan. Remember that investigational medications or medicines taken for cosmetic purposes are not covered under your prescription benefit.