Get the Most from Your Physician Visit

You can play a key role in your own health care by being an active participant. You can raise questions and concerns, and provide your physicians with information that will help them make solid recommendations. Preparation will help you make the most of your physician visit.

Prepare before you arrive:

  • Answers your doctor gives to your questions
  • Instructions for caring for yourself at home
  • Explanations about your medical condition
  • How your medicines work and how you should take them
  • Potential reactions you could have to your medications

Bring a list of questions and go over it with your doctor. You may want to ask:

  • How accurate are the tests used for diagnosing the problem?
  • What is the long-term outlook of this condition with and without treatment?
  • What are my treatment options, and what are the benefits and risks of each option?
  • If my symptoms worsen, at what point should I contact a physician?
  • Could any of my medications cause an adverse reaction?
  • Should we monitor for medication side effects or interactions?
  • Know your family's medical history.
  • Bring a list of symptoms or problems you have been experiencing.
  • If you see other doctors in between your visits to Yale Medicine, bring information from those appointments with you, including a list of prescription medications, test results and prescribed treatments.
  • Bring information on over-the-counter medications, supplements or herbs you are taking. Remember to jot down information on frequency and dosage.
  • Get laboratory tests or procedures done in advance so your physician has the results.
  • Make sure your physician is aware of any changes in your family's medical history.
  • If you are nervous about your appointment, bring your spouse, a family member or a friend to ask questions and provide support.

Most importantly, speak up!

Any opinions, concerns or anxieties you have about your condition or treatment may influence your course of treatment. Be sure to let your physician know about them.