Before your visit

Call the doctor’s office to set up an appointment. If this is your first time seeing the doctor, be sure to mention that you’re a new patient. When you call, let the office know the name of your health insurance plan. It’s a good idea to confirm that the doctor is in your plan’s network.

Arriving for your visit

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your visit:

  • Carry your insurance ID card with you.
  • When you check in for the appointment, you may be asked to pay a copayment. If you’re getting an annual physical (well visit), there may be no charge.
  • You may be asked to fill out forms or answer questions about your health and your family’s health history. Doing so helps your doctor chart your medical history.
  • Bring a list of medicines and supplements you’re currently taking.
  • Write down the questions you want to ask the doctor.
  • Bring a family member or friend to help, if needed.

What to expect during your visit

A key factor in your health care is good communication with your health care provider. Here’s what to expect:

  • Your doctor will ask you about your health and any concerns you may have. It’s important to talk openly and honestly with your doctor so he or she has accurate information to help you manage your health.
  • You may discuss screenings and vaccines recommended based on your age and health history.
  • Your doctor may order tests, such as cholesterol screening or blood sugar test.
  • You may discuss any medications you’re taking and how these are working.
  • Your doctor will discuss next steps with you, whether it’s a follow-up appointment, a referral to a specialist or other steps.
  • Take notes during the appointment and/or ask for written instructions.

After you get home

Contact your doctor's office any time you have a question about your health or are having trouble following the doctor’s instructions. If you have a health condition such as diabetes, asthma  or heart disease, it’s vital to work closely with your doctor to manage health conditions. Keep in mind, communicating with your doctor is important for your health!

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