Five Steps for a Better Medical Visit

  • Make a list. Write down all the questions you want to ask during your appointment, starting with the ones that are most important to you.
  • Record your health history. Put together a record of your personal health history, including current conditions and symptoms, and all past surgeries and significant or long-term illnesses.
  • Know your meds. Gather all your medications in a bag to bring them the appointment or take pictures of the labels with your cell phone so you have a precise record of names and dosages.
  • Learn your family health history. Write down your family’s health history, especially that of your parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles.
  • Bring a witness. Ask a family member or friend to come with you who can help you remember and understand what the health care provider said. If no one can come along, bring along a voice recorder so you can listen again later.
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