A primary care provider going over a patient's medications during their appointment.
Healthy Living

7 Tips for Preparing for Your Primary Care Visit

Sep 3 2020

One visit with your primary care provider can help you learn so much about yourself and your health. However, planning ahead is the key when it comes to gathering the most resources and ideas on how to stay well.

Here are seven ways to prepare before your next visit with your primary care provider.

List concerns and symptoms

Bring a written list of questions about your health. List any symptoms that worry you. Be prepared to take notes on what your provider says and make sure to leave with a solid follow-up plan.

Be open and honest

Don’t hide any symptoms you’re feeling, both physical and mental. It’s better to catch health problems early if you’re experiencing symptoms. During your visit, you might learn there isn’t anything to worry about after all.

Know your health care history

It helps when a primary care provider has as many details about your health care history as possible. Your health care history includes everything from minor allergies to major surgeries you’ve had. If this is a new provider for you, be sure to have your medical records sent over from your old practice before your visit.

Bring essential papers and insurance 

Your insurance card has essential information on it about billing, but it also helps your provider to determine what tests or treatments your plan may cover. Also, remember to bring prescription renewal forms if your doctor asks for them.

Understand your insurance

There are so many types of insurance plans, so it helps if you understand what yours provides. You may not have to pay a co-pay for certain exams, like annual wellness physicals. It also helps to know if you need a referral to see a specialist, as sometimes your primary care provider can handle those details for you.

Bring all medications to your appointment

You might think all you need to do is write down your medications, and this is a great start. However, you may forget an important detail that your primary care provider wants to know. It’s always best to bring all your medications, even over-the-counter medications, to the appointment so your provider can read the labels.

Know your family’s health care history

There are some conditions and diseases that can run in families. Your primary care provider will want to connect the dots between your health and your biological family’s health. This helps them figure out any lifestyle changes you might need to make to lower your chances of developing a particular condition. Your primary care provider will add this information to your chart.

Choosing a primary care provider is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your health care and wellness. Use our Find a Doctor tool to explore your options today.

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