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Preparing for an Appointment at UPMC in central Pa.

Good medical care begins with good communication. The more engaged you are in your own health the better your health care . Get the most out of your doctor’s appointment by doing some preparation ahead of time.

Before Your Appointment

  • If this is your first appointment, verify with the front office staff that the practice accepts your insurance.
  • When making the appointment provide a few details about your health concern so that a proper length of time can be scheduled.
  • If it is your first visit gather information about diseases that run in your family.
  • Make a list of your current and past health problems, prior surgeries and hospitalizations.
  • Make a list of the medications you are taking (or bring in the bottles) including the amount and frequency for each prescription. Include over-the-counter drugs, as well as herbs, supplements and vitamins.
  • Consider bringing a friend or relative to the appointment to make notes and help you remember details of what you discussed with your doctor.
  • Make notes about your symptoms or health concerns ahead of time so you remember them at your appointment.

What to Bring to Your Appointment

  • Your insurance card(s)
  • Your medication list
  • Your list of hospitalizations and medical history
  • Notes about your health concerns

During Your Appointment

  • Explain your symptoms or health concerns.
  • Discuss your relevant health history, and the list of medications that you take.
  • Don’t hold back information and don’t be embarrassed. Your physician has heard it all.
  • Don't forget about your emotional health; it influences your physical health.
  • Your health is worth your physician’s time. Repeat what the physician has told you to be sure you understand. Ask for clarification if needed.

Before Leaving Your Appointment

  • Don’t leave until you fully understand your next steps and/or your recommended treatment plan.
  • Find out if and when you should return for another visit. Schedule a follow-up appointment if necessary.
  • Ask if you need to watch for certain warning signs for your condition, ask when you should be concerned and at what point you need to call in.
  • If you received a new prescription make sure you understand how to take the medicine.
  • Ask how to reach the doctor if you have questions or concerns. By email? By phone? By text? What hours are best? How soon can you expect a response?
  • Don't leave if you are uncertain about your diagnosis or treatment plan.

Need help finding a doctor?

If you would like to make an appointment with one of our Primary Care physicians or specialists contact the UPMC Phone Line at 717-231-8900 or pn_corpcontactcenter@upmc.edu and one of our customer service representatives would be happy to assist you.

UPMC Central Pa. Portal

UPMC Central Pa. Portal provides patients across the central Pennsylvania region with secure access to their health information. It is the fastest way to send a message to your doctor, refill prescriptions, get test results, and schedule and manage appointments, including video visits.

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