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Doctor Visits

Whether it's your first visit with a new doctor, or an upcoming appointment with your regular provider, it's helps to be prepared.

Here are some tips for your next doctor’s appointment:

Take a pal: Don’t be afraid to take a family member or good friend with you, particularly if it’s your first meeting with a new provider.

Being an advocate can be as simple as sitting in on an appointment and never saying a word. Other times, you may need the confidence to ask for more information. If the information isn’t clear to you, it also may not be clear to your friend, the patient.

List of questions: Jot down your questions prior to the visit. Once there, be sure to write down the answers. Those answers will help you understand your treatment and help you manage your health routine.

List questions in the order of importance. If it’s on your mind, your provider wants to hear about it.

  • “Doc, I’m thinking about physical therapy. Will that help?”
  • “Should I take an 80mg low-dose aspirin before bedtime?”
  • “I saw on social media that apple cider vinegar may help with this condition. Is that true?”

No question is too delicate when it comes to your health. Scroll down to find the worksheet, “Questions to Ask Your Doctor."

Your meds: It will help, particularly if it’s your first visit, to bring a list of your current prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal remedies and supplements. In fact, it’s a good idea to pack them up and bring them along. Scroll down for a medications worksheet.

As a patient at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County or any of its Specialty Clinics, your health information is fed into the HealtheLife patient portal. As more and more of your information is fed into the system, the easier it will be for you and all of your providers to manage your healthcare. To check it out, click HERE.

Test results: The same goes for test results. Do you have results of a recent colonoscopy or your latest A1C numbers? Bring them with you or let the staff know ahead of time where and how to get copies of the test results.

Family records: The medical history of your family can have a big impact on your health. This information helps the provider identify people with a higher-than-usual chance of having common disorders.

Write down your family history, including information on your parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Scroll down to find the Family Health History worksheet.

Ask for an interpreter: Don’t let a language barrier hinder your care. If your provider doesn’t speak your language, ask for an interpreter. It’s important for you to understand your diagnosis and the instructions the doctor gives you.

Our patient access specialists can arrange to have a Spanish-speaking interpreter help you with an appointment. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or sight impaired, please notify one of our healthcare providers or staff to arrange interpreting services during your visit.

Additional resources through language line services are available to assist in more than 240 languages including American Sign Language. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you have questions prior to your visit, don’t hesitate to call the clinic’s patient access specialists.

Here are a few worksheets to help you organize:

Family Health History

Changes to Discuss



5 ways to make the most of your doctors’ appointment

1. Be Honest: It is tempting to say what you think the doctor wants to hear, for example, that you smoke less or eat a more balanced diet than you really do. While this is natural, it’s not in your best interest. Your doctor can suggest the best treatment only if you say what is really going on. For instance, you might say: “I have been trying to quit smoking, as you recommended, but I am not making much headway.”

2. Decide What Questions Are Most Important: Pick three or four questions or concerns that you most want to talk about with the doctor. You can tell him or her what they are at the beginning of the appointment, and then discuss each in turn. If you have time, you can then go on to other questions.

3. Stick to the Point: Although your doctor might like to talk with you at length, each patient is given a limited amount of time. To make the best use of your time, stick to the point. For instance, give the doctor a brief description of the symptom, when it started, how often it happens, and if it is getting worse or better.

4. Share Your Point of View About the Visit: Tell the doctor if you feel rushed, worried, or uncomfortable. If necessary, you can offer to return for a second visit to discuss your concerns. Try to voice your feelings in a positive way. For example, you could say something like: “I know you have many patients to see, but I’m really worried about this. I’d feel much better if we could talk about it a little more.”

5. Remember, the Doctor May Not Be Able to Answer All Your Questions: Even the best doctor may be unable to answer some questions. Most doctors will tell you when they don’t have answers. They also may help you find the information you need or refer you to a specialist. If a doctor regularly brushes off your questions or symptoms as simply a part of aging, think about looking for another doctor.