Doctor’s appointments often seem too short. These tips can help you make the most of that time:
Bring your medications or a list of them
—Go to your appointment with a complete list of the drugs you take, including how much, how often, and for how long you’ve been on them. Or better yet, bring your medications in their labeled containers to the visit.
Track your symptoms
—Pay attention to your symptoms leading up to your visit, and keep a list of when and for how long anything out of the ordinary happens. Bring this list to your appointment to discuss with your provider.
Write down your concerns in advance
—Before you go to your appointment, jot down any concerns, questions, or points you would like to discuss with the doctor or other provider and have the list ready so you can easily refer to it during the appointment.
Call ahead if there are new concerns
—If something about your health is especially concerning you and you’d like more time for your visit, call ahead to see if the doctor’s office can schedule enough time on the day of your appointment.
Bring someone with you
—Ask a family member, friend, or caregiver to go with you to an appointment when you have something important to talk about with the doctor. It’s easy to feel anxious or to miss things when discussing technical information about a treatment plan. In these moments, having a second person there to listen to information and follow up with questions can be helpful.
For more information on how to communicate with your provider, visit the Speak Up™ program. The site contains video overviews, frequently asked questions, and other relevant materials to help you prepare for appointments and communicate effectively.