Are You Prepared For Your Doctor’s Visit?

Posted on May 4, 2011


Sometimes going to the doctor’s can be a nerve wrecking process. In order to get the best possible care, it is important to take an active role in your health. This means that when you are visiting a doctor you come prepared with information and questions. Good communication is an important way to build a relationship with your doctor and get the care you need. Here are some tips to better communicate with your doctor:

Remember to bring these with you

  • Prior medical records, x-rays, or tests results from previous doctors

  • Insurance Card

  • List of Concerns and Questions

  • List of Medications and Dosages

  • A family member or friend to help you write down anything you may have missed

Remember Ask Me 3

Before you leave the doctor’s office make sure you ask and understand these three questions.

  1. What is my main problem?

  2. What do I need to do?

  3. Why is it important for me to do this?

Doctor’s are there to help you, do not be embarrassed to ask more questions if you still do not understand.


Remember to take information home with you

  • Take note; write down all the information the doctor gives you

  • Ask the doctor to write down any instructions they may have

  • For more information bring home educational brochures and material

  • Don’t forget a business card

Additional questions you may want to ask while at the doctor’s

About My Disease or Disorder...

  • What is my diagnosis?

  • What caused my condition?

  • Can my condition be treated?

  • How will this condition affect my vision now and in the future?

  • Should I watch for any particular symptoms and notify you if they occur?

  • Should I make any lifestyle changes?

About My Treatment…

  • What is the treatment for my condition?

  • When will the treatment start, and how long will it last?

  • What are the benefits of this treatment, and how successful is it?

  • What are the risks and side effects associated with this treatment?

  • Are there foods, drugs, or activities I should avoid while I’m on this treatment?

  • If my treatment includes taking a medication, what should I do if I miss a dose?

  • Are other treatments available?

About My Tests…

  • What kinds of tests will I have?

  • What do you expect to find out from these tests?

  • When will I know the results?

  • Do I have to do anything special to prepare for any of the tests?

  • Do these tests have any side effects or risks?

  • Will I need more tests later?

Remember, good communication between you and your doctor is very important. In order to receive the best care possible, you should take an active role in your health. Asking questions is one of the best ways to do so; it will leave you informed and more aware of your own health.

If you need help finding a doctor, call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050. For more resources on talking with your doctor, take a look at the National Library of Medicine.