Routine visits can help you and your doctor catch any problems early, perhaps even before you notice symptoms. Before you go, make a list of both your general concerns and specific questions. Write down your major and minor concerns and things you want to discuss, and leave room on the paper for your doctor’s comments and advice.
When you do go, also be armed with personal information that will help your doctor help you.
- Write down your own health history — Detail any chronic conditions you may have, such as asthma or high blood pressure. Include any serious illnesses or injuries you may have had in the past, as well as hospitalizations, surgeries and accidents.
- Know your family history — Provide your doctor with background on your parents, siblings and grandparents, such as chronic illnesses and causes of death, because some tendencies run in families.
- Brown-bag all of your medications — Your doctor needs to know about all the drugs you’re taking — both those prescribed by other physicians and any over-the-counter medications. Round them all up and bring them with you to your doctor’s office. That way your doctor can protect you from taking too much medication or mixing drugs in a harmful way.