Make the most of your appointment with this helpful planning guide!

Ok, you FINALLY got the appointment with that new specialist or doctor! You are anxious, nervous, excited, scared or all of the above. Totally normal.

But how do you prepare yourself so that when these emotions bubble up (which they will) that you can clearly communicate your questions and issues?

It’s likely that your specialist will not have more than a few minutes to review your new patient paperwork prior to your appointment. They might have received a referral from another physician but these folks are busy and see LOTS of patients.

Here are a few helpful tips that I’ve found when going to a new doctor or specialist:

  • Write down a timeline of your symptoms (if any) and treatments.
  • Prepare a list of providers you have seen for this issue.
  • Make note of any recent lab work.
  • Have a list of prescription medications and herbal/vitamin supplements and dosages.
  • If you can in advance, journal your symptoms and what makes them worse and/or better.
  • Be sure to mention other medical conditions or illnesses that you are being treated for (this seems easy but I often forget to list that I have acid reflux!).
  • What questions do you have? Write them all down! I often forget, leave and on the drive home kick myself for forgetting to ask something important!
  • Write down all of the treatment options and/or plans discussed during your appointment so you can research them after.
  • Write down at least 1-2 goals that you have for the appointment or for your condition. This will help your doctor understand what’s most important to you!
  • Check to make sure that your referring physician has forwarded records or that your new doctor’s office can access your old records.

I’ve created this free, helpful Chronically Willed Appointment Guide to help you prepare for your next new doctor appointment!

What else have you found helpful to do in advance of new doctor appointments? I’d love to know here what helps you!

– Kelly

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