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Before Your Appointment

You can make sure you get the best possible care by being an active member of your health care team. Being involved means being prepared and asking questions.

Asking questions about your diagnoses, treatments, and medicines can improve the quality, safety, and effectiveness of your health care.

Taking steps before your medical appointments will help you to make the most of your time with your doctor and health care team.

Prepare your questions

Time is limited during doctor visits. Prepare for your appointment by thinking about what you want to do during your next visit. Do you want to ––

Did you know?

Patients who ask questions and take an active role are happier with their care and see more improvement in their health than patients who do not.

  • Talk about a health problem?
  • Get or change a medicine?
  • Get medical tests?
  • Talk about surgery or treatment options?

Write down your questions or use the Question Builder to make a list of questions to bring to your appointment.

The answers can help you make better decisions, get good care, and feel better about your health care.

Go to: During Your Appointment

Build Your Question List

Whether you have a health condition or need new medicines, a medical test, or surgery, here are questions you can ask your doctor. The answers to these questions can improve your health.

Make your list now button

Watch Douglas Smith's Story

Douglas Smith

Real patients and clinicians share why it is important to ask questions. Select here.

Other Helpful Tips

These steps will also help prepare for your appointment:

  • Ask someone to go to your appointment with you to help you understand and remember answers to your questions.
  • Create a health history that includes your current conditions and past surgeries or illnesses. Bring it to your appointment.
  • Know your family’s health history, such as your parents’ health conditions.
  • Bring all your medicines with you.
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