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A visit to your doctor’s office may be a bit overwhelming, especially when there is a lot of information to exchange. Here are a few recommendations to help you make the most of your visit:

  • Write down your questions prior to the appointment. Make a copy for yourself and your doctor.

    Remember to be realistic about what you can cover during the office visit, and prioritize the list. Having a list helps the physician recognize and address your major concerns.
  • Bring an updated list of all your medications, and make a copy for your doctor. The list should include the names of the medications, the strength, the dose, the directions, reason for taking the medications, and name of the physician who prescribed them.

    Remember to also list non-prescription medications including herbal remedies. If possible, indicate how long you have been taking each medication.

    Here is a sample list that you may want to follow:

Drug Name




Reason Taking Medicine

Prescribing Physician

Start Date

Drug #1


1/2 tablet

Takes twice a day

For blood pressure

Dr. Jane Doe

Started around 2004

Drug #2


1 tablet

Every night

For sleep

Dr. John Doe

Started 4/2005

  • Write down any symptoms you may have. "My back hurts" is very vague. Try to be as specific as possible. Is the pain to the right or left side lower or mid-back? Describe the type of pain: sharp or dull, constant or intermittent. How is pain affecting your daily routine?

    Are there situations or activities that cause or perpetuate the pain? How long have you been experiencing the pain? Finally, have you done anything to alleviate the pain, i.e., taking medication(s)?
  • Bring an objective family member or friend to your appointment. They can help you recall the answers to your questions and any other information the physician may provide.

  • Be prepared to remove shoes or clothing. If you're having a problem with your foot, wearing sandals or shoes that are easy to remove rather than lace-up shoes allows the physician more time to examine your foot and discuss your problem.

    Remember to wear comfortable clothes. A visit to your physician may sometimes cause a bit of anxiety, so the more relaxed you are the more you can get from the appointment.
  • Office visits tend to run anywhere from 15- 30 minutes, so you must be realistic about what can be covered during this time.

    However, if you have multiple major issues, let your doctor's office know when you call to make your appointment. You may want to request an extended visit, or need to make two appointments.