8 ways to get the most from your primary care visit

nurse and patient Thursday, January 31, 2019

Your primary care provider is the key to coordinating all your care, so it's important that you establish a good relationship with them.

If you're due for a checkup, here are 8 things you should know to get the most from your primary care visit.

  1. Talk to your primary care provider about the rest of your care team. They'll help coordinate your care, so you don't miss or duplicate tests. If you have a health condition, your primary care provider may provide a referral to an in-network specialist.
  2. Review your medical history, current medications, and treatment plans. If you need to complete a new patient form, return it before your appointment. Your visit may be more valuable if your primary care provider has that information ahead of time.
  3. Bring phone numbers and addresses of any previous doctors to your visit. That will make it easier to get your records if needed.
  4. Come with a list of your prescriptions and dosages. Or bring all your medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, in a bag with you.
  5. Arrive early. How early depends on what office staff tells you when you make your appointment. Sometimes you may need extra time for paperwork.
  6. Ask about any screenings or preventive services you may need. You may pay for part of the cost of some tests your doctor runs. Learn more about avoiding surprise costs for preventive care.
  7. Write down your questions. Show them to your doctor, so you don't forget anything.
  8. Bring a friend or family member with you to take notes if you're facing a serious health issue.

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