Your PCP is an expert when it comes to practicing medicine, but you are the best expert on yourself. By being an active participant in your own healthcare, you can get what you need from each appointment, help your provider better understand your health concerns, and work with your provider to choose the best treatment options.
Here are some tips that will help:
- Arrive 10 minutes early, especially if it’s your first appointment. This will give you time to fill out any health history forms and make sure your contact information is up to date.
- Keep records. If your appointment has to do with a specific health concern, it may help to keep a record of your symptoms and bring it with you to the appointment.
- Prepare a list of questions ahead of time, so you can remember everything you want to ask. And remember, no matter what your question is, your clinician has heard it before.
- First things first. Always talk about your most important concerns first.
- Make sure you understand any plans for treatment or follow-up.
- Be honest. To give you the care you need, clinicians sometimes need to ask some pretty personal questions.
- Be prepared to make another appointment. Sometimes one visit won’t be sufficient, so be ready to make a follow-up appointment if necessary.
- Feel free to bring a friend or family member to take notes or lend support during potentially stressful visits.
- Ask for an interpreter if you need one. Foreign language and sign language interpreters are available at MIT Medical. Just let us know what services you want when you make your appointment. Or, if you are walking in without an appointment, tell the front-desk staff if you need a spoken-language interpreter or a sign language interpreter, and we’ll make the appropriate arrangements on the spot.