Going to the Doctor
Use the tips and forms below to get the most from every doctor visit.
My Doctor Visit Form
Print and fill out this form before your next doctor's appointment to make the most out of your time with your doctor. Use the form to write down what you’d like to talk to your doctor about. You can also take notes during your visit to help you keep your health on track. Tip: List what you would like to talk to your doctor about in order of importance.
My Medicine Record Form
Questions to Ask Your Doctor to Manage Your Medications
It’s important to know how to manage your medications. You need to know what medication to take and at what time. Ask your doctor these questions during your visit to help you make sure you are taking your medications the right way:
- What are the new medications I will need to take?
- How long will I need to take them?
- How should these medications be taken? Do I take them with meals? At certain times, each day?
- Are there any known side effects for me to be aware of?
- Can my new medications be taken with the ones I am already taking?
- What happens if I stop taking my medication?
Develop a Complete Care Plan
Your care plan should cover everything related to your health. It should include your medical conditions, your medications, your doctors, your health insurance information, and more. It’s a way to keep track of all your medical information in one place. And it’s important that you and your caregivers are involved in creating your care plan with your doctor.
Here is why a care plan is important:
- Care plans can help you manage your health
- Care plans can help reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations
- Care plans can be shared with trusted friends, family, and caregivers to make sure your needs and preferences
For an example of a care plan visit the CDC's Complete Care Plan
Other Tips for Your Doctor’s Visit
Sometimes good communication can be difficult during a short doctor’s visit. Using these tips can help you get make the most from your visit and help ensure quality care.
- Fill out and take the “My Doctor Visit” and My Medicine Record” forms with you to your next doctor’s visit.
- Speak up. Make sure to talk to your doctor about your concerns.
- Be open and honest. Some topics might feel uncomfortable to talk about, but they are still important.
- Bring a trusted friend or family member with you.
- Keep your doctor informed. Let your doctor know what medications you are taking, what other doctors you are seeing, or if you have had an emergency room or urgent care visit.
- Listen and ask questions during your visit to clarify. If you wait until the end, you might forget your questions.
- It can be hard remembering medical information. Ask your doctor if it’s ok to record your discussion during your visit. You can download and use one of your SCAN benefits, the Abridge phone app, to record your conversation or bring your own tape recorder. Then you’ll have a record of what was discussed to share with caregivers and family members.
- Register for a patient portal with your medical group, if they have one. A patient portal can help you keep track of your health and plan for any upcoming doctor visits, as well as find your medical and appointment history.
For more information on how to prepare for your doctor’s appointment, visit the National Institute of Aging website
Full of helpful information, SCAN Caregiver Workshops can make caregiving easier.