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
- 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.