No one loves going to the doctor, but when it’s time for a checkup, it’s smart to try to make the most of it. Here’s how to prepare for a worthwhile and helpful visit.
Use Your Insurance
If you’re looking for a new health care professional, get recommendations from people you trust: friends, family, co-workers, or other practitioners you see. Then, verify that any recommended doctor is in your insurance network before scheduling an appointment. It’s OK to see someone out-of-network, but be prepared for the added cost.
Your doctor’s office may have preferred labs for things like bloodwork and pathology reports. Before your appointment, find out who these providers are and if they’re in your network. If they aren’t, ask about alternatives to keep your costs down.
Prepare for Your Appointment
If you’re changing doctors, arrange to have your old medical records sent to the new office before your appointment. Be ready to answer questions about your health history, current symptoms, your family health history and your vaccination history.
Bring the bottles for all your current medications and vitamins; this is the best way to make sure your doctor will know exactly what you’re taking, how often and why. Also, create a list of questions in advance to make sure you cover what’s important during your appointment.
Maximize Your 15 Minutes
Unless you know your doctor has plenty of time, skip the small talk and get straight to your health concerns. Be honest about any symptoms you’re experiencing and bring up your most pressing questions right away. Use your phone’s voice recorder or take notes so you can review the conversation after you get home. If you’re unclear about anything, call the office to follow up.
When it comes to your health, careful planning is well worth the time.