Before even entering the waiting room of a new doctor, there are a number of things you should do so that your first visit with the doctor is as productive and helpful as possible.
To receive the most effective care, it is important that you feel at ease with the doctor you choose, as the two of you will be discussing very intimate issues. It is important to decide whether you are comfortable with a male or a female doctor. For example if you feel you’re not comfortable with a man examining you, when you call to schedule your first appointment you can ask whether the doctor is male or female.
After determining whether the doctor is male or female and when you feel comfortable, then the following are a few questions to ask before scheduling an appointment:
1) What health insurance does the doctor accept?
2) What is the policy for cancellation of an appointment?
3) In the event of an emergency, will I see the doctor or if the doctor is not available to which doctors would I be referred to.
4) What hospital(s) is the doctor affiliated with?
These questions are important to ask prior to your visit because you do not want to arrive at the appointment and find that the policies of doctor’s or the hospitals they refer their patients to are not in line with your ideas of the best medical care.
Once you have scheduled an appointment, it is vital that you get all of your medical records from previous doctors you may have seen, whether it was your internist or a specialist. Having your records on hand will make the doctor’s ability to understand your case as expedient as possible.
Whether you have provided the doctor with records from the past or not, on your first visit a complete medical history will be taken. If you have a family history of a specific disease or health condition it is important to make the doctor aware of this. Upon arrival at your new doctor’s office you will be asked to fill out a general questionnaire. It is important to make sure that you have a driver’s license or other forms of identification, as well as your insurance card. You may be asked to fill out a medical history, as well.
Even though you may have filled out a written history, your doctor will most likely to ask you many of the same questions you were asked when providing your written health history. This repetition is to benefit both you and your doctor, as it is a way to further ensure that no information has been missed. At this time, present your medical records for the doctor’s perusal. If you have any questions or concerns, now would be the opportune time to make the doctor aware of them. Having a list of all symptoms or health issues written down is often helpful.
After taking an oral history and giving a physical exam, the doctor will then make an evaluation. Based on this evaluation, the doctor will decide on the next step in process of getting you the care you need.
We hope we have given you some important tips to get maximum benefit of your First Visit to a New Doctor.
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