What are the top 10 things to remember before going to my doctor's office?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Whether it's your first visit with that physician or you've been seeing them for decades, one way to save time (and that means saving money) is to have everything that could possibly be useful either in your hand or in the file cabinet in the doctor's back office. Use this list to make sure you're all set.
  1. Do I have my filled-out health profile to take to the appointment, including my family health history?
  2. What questions do I have for the doctor about my health profile? Write these down.
  3. What other documents or items do I need to bring to the appointment (such as X-rays, pathology reports, or other medical records)?
  4. Do I need any other records that other physicians have (such as prior medical records) sent to the doctor's office?
  5. Do I have all of my insurance information handy?
  6. In addition to my written medication list, do I have the actual bottles and containers of every single prescription medication, over-the-counter drug, herbal supplement, vitamin, and anything else I take regularly bundled neatly to bring to the appointment?
  7. Who do I want to come with me to the appointment?
  8. Do I need to do anything special (such as fast for 12 hours for a blood glucose test) before the appointment?
  9. Do I have my tape recorder with a blank tape and fresh batteries?
  10. Which specific questions do I want answered at this appointment? Write these down.
YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment

More About this Book

YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment

Everyone needs to become a smart patient. In fact, in the worst cases, your life may even depend on it. Number one bestselling authors and doctors Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz have written this...

Continue Learning about Talking To Your Doctor

Questions to Ask Your Surgeon
Questions to Ask Your Surgeon
In director John Hughes’s 1989 movie Uncle Buck, Buck (John Candy) is the last person you’d trust to babysit your kids. But a family emergency puts hi...
Read More
What is a shared medical appointment (SMA)?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
A shared medical appointment, or SMA, is essentially a group appointment during which many patients ...
More Answers
What should I ask a doctor or surgeon after an initial consultation?
Stuart A. Linder, MDStuart A. Linder, MD
It is vital to make a list of questions with you when considering which doctor to choose as your sur...
More Answers
What Your Doctor Needs to Know
What Your Doctor Needs to Know

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.