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 Pinnacle Phone Line at 717-231-8900 or firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our customer service representatives would be happy to assist you.