The best way to prep for medical appointment is....

The best way to prep for a medical appointment is...

Visiting the doctor on a yearly basis can be a hard task. Everyone is so busy. Arranging schedules can take away from the purpose of seeing your provider in the first place — to get answers.

Plenty of questions are asked of us, but we often fail to ask our questions during the visit. Most providers end their check-ups with “What questions do you have for me?” We often miss the chance to voice our concerns, by not asking questions. We are responsible for our health as a patient.

How should you prepare for your office visit and what questions should you ask? Below is a list of useful information that your doctor may ask for during your exam. Using an electronic health record can also help make organization of health information easy.

  • Current and past medical conditions
  • Current medications, bring the bottle or prescription
  • Dates of check-ups, surgeries, and immunizations
  • Emergency contact,­ Advanced directives, Preferred pharmacy location information

Questions and concerns In general, the patient should always ask the doctor ‘Why is it important to me?’ and ‘What should I do next?’ These questions can open the door for more information and provide a basis of knowledge. The Center for Advancing Health suggests some more questions for the visit:

General Checkup

  • Have there been any changes in my health?
  • What health behaviors should I start/stop?
  • ­Are there suggested screenings for my gender/ age group?

After Diagnosis

  • Is this a permanent or temporary condition?­
  • How is it treated, what options do I have, and how do I know if it is working?
  • ­ What signs and symptoms should I immediately
  • How long will it take to feel better?
  • What resources are available?

New Medication

  • ­ What is it being prescribed and why?
  • How long will I be taking it?
  • ­What are the side effects?
  • ­ Are there over the counter or generic options?
  • ­ How should I take the medication?

The first step to getting an answer is asking a question. It is important to remember that no question is silly. A moment of openness can lead to a lifetime of good health. The best advice to take control of your healthistobeawareofyour health. Remember to prepare for a visit and to be vocal. Resources for visiting the doctor can be found at

Emily Shallow is an RN student with UW-Oshkosh Accelerated Nursing Program