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Making the Most of Your Appointment - Topic Overview

Do you take medicines?

If you take prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal remedies or vitamins, bring all your medicines with you to any appointment with a doctor. If you cannot bring the medicines, bring a list of the medicines that you take(What is a PDF document?).

You might also bring a copy of your daily medicine schedule(What is a PDF document?). Your doctor can review the best times of the day to take each medicine and prevent unwanted side effects or interactions between drugs, supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.

What other forms might be helpful?

If you and your doctor are going to discuss a new medicine, medical test, surgery, or special treatment, choose a form from the following list. Then fill in your information, and take the form with you to your visit. Completing the form will help you understand the importance of the treatment your doctor is advising for your health condition. If you do not have the form at the time of your visit, complete the form at home after the visit.

Also, bring a copy of your health plan's list of covered prescription drugs. This list is also known as a formulary.

What do you need to do after the appointment?

Follow the instructions your doctor gave you, including filling a prescription, scheduling tests, or making another appointment. Call your doctor if you still have questions or if there is anything you do not understand.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems or symptoms that concern you. Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety.

Update the medical records that you keep at home, including new test results and medicine changes. For more information, see the topic Organizing Your Medical Records.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 25, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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