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    Medical Specialists - Preparing for Your Appointment

    Before the visit

    Collect the following information before your visit. Take it with you to your appointment.

    • Gather any medical records for previous treatment for the same or a similar problem.
    • Make a list of all prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking.

    During the visit

    • State your main problem or reason for your visit.
    • Describe your symptoms.
    • Describe your past experiences with this problem.
    • State how this problem is affecting your life.

    After the visit

    Write down:

    • What your health professional thinks the problem might be.
    • What you might expect to happen next.
    • What you can do to manage your problem at home.

    Questions to ask about medicines, tests, and treatments

    • What is the name of the medicine, test, or treatment?
    • Why is it needed?
    • What are the risks?
    • What are potential side effects?
    • Are there alternatives?
    • How much does it cost?
    • Is the cost of the medicine covered by my insurance?
    • What will happen if I decide not to have treatment?
    • How do I take this medicine?
    • How will this medicine react with other medicines I am taking?
    • How do I prepare for each test or treatment?

    Questions to ask at the end of your visit

    • When should I return for another visit?
    • When will test results be available?
      • Should I contact you or will you contact me?
      • Be sure to ask for copies of any test results.
    • Are there any danger signs that I need to look for?
    • What else do I need to know?

    For more information, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

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