Getting The Most Out Of Your Doctor Appointment

Should I tell my doctor about my embarrassing odor? How much will my visit cost? What information will my doctor need? Will they take my insurance?

If you have an upcoming visit with your primary care physician, you probably have questions for your doctor and maybe even some for their support staff. In addition, many patients get nervous, especially when they are visiting for the first time. 

The best way to get the most out of your doctor appointment is with a little advanced preparation. Utilizing the following tips will help you stay focused and provide you with a strategic approach to ensure both you and your physician get the most out of your doctor visit.

What should I do when making an appointment with a primary care provider?

When making an appointment with any healthcare provider, always disclose if you are a new patient. New patient visits often involve tasks for both the visiting individual and the physician’s staff to complete, requiring a more extended appointment allotment than established patients.

When you make your appointment, be sure to have your insurance card or other pertinent information available. Provide the office staff with the name of your health insurance plan and confirm that they accept your type of insurance along with any required co-pay amount.

Last, confirm the type of services offered so that you can ensure their practice is the right fit for your needs.

How do I prepare for a doctor appointment?

The most important thing you can do to prepare for your upcoming doctor visit is to bring a list of all your current medications, including over-the-counter medicines or supplements. If you have a smartphone take pictures of the labels of your medications and supplements to show the doctor.

Equally important is gathering your medical history, including any recent labs or tests to bring to the office visit. Utilizing a health application on your phone can reduce the need for you to have to pull this information before every appointment. For iPhone users, Apple’s Health application allows you to store this information and even retrieve new information as it becomes available straight from your phone.

If you have an android device, you might consider using CommonHealth. Reviews show the user experience varies; however, there are other android options if CommonHealth does not yield the expected results.

What should I do the day before my doctor appointment?

Since preparation is key, you can do a few things the day before your appointment to ensure a smooth experience.

If this will be your first visit to a new office, double-check the address and look online to find the best travel route. Be sure to print directions or save them on your phone.

Get a good night’s rest. Being well-rested will help relax you and allow you to focus better during your visit.

If the thought of visiting a doctor’s office starts your pulse racing and causes you to feel nervous, arrange to have, a friend or family member accompany you to your appointment.

What should you not do before a doctor appointment?

Try to avoid drinking any caffeinated beverages right before heading to your doctor’s office. Caffeine can elevate blood pressure, resulting in an inaccurate baseline reading.

If your visit will involve a mammogram, forgo using deodorant, perfumes, or lotions, as they can show up on screenings and cause inaccurate results.

What should you not tell your doctor?

The only thing you should not tell your doctor is a lie. Always be honest with your doctor. Details such as sexual practices, alcohol or drug use, and diet and exercise are all critical factors that drive clinical inquiry and treatment plans. 

It may not be easy to believe, but physicians are not shocked by the information received from their patients, and doctors see it all, so nothing you share with them will be surprising.

What questions are most important to ask a family practice physician?

During visits with your family physician, you will want to ask your doctor for any recommended modifications to medications, changes to lifestyle, or suggested screenings or tests.

Additionally, always ask if any new aches or pains are normal or if they merit further investigation.

When the purpose of your visit is to aid you in selecting a family practice physician, it is essential to ask questions which help determine if the physician can support the needs of all of your family members.

For example, if you have children, you will want to ask questions about their pediatric approach.

  • How long have you been practicing family medicine?
  • How far in advance do child wellness appointments need to be scheduled?
  •   What are your views on issues such as the use of antibiotics, vaccinations, and circumcision?
  •  Will you discuss issues such as parenting strategies and my child’s emotional and social development?
  • Do you offer same-day sick appointments?

How do I stay focused during my visit with my primary care doctor?

If you have a specific complaint, write down your symptoms, when they began, and anything that makes the symptoms better or worse. Be detailed but concise when documenting your experience.

If your visit is for a general check-up, think about the most important questions you want answered and write them down in order of importance. Time goes quickly during an office visit, so your prioritized list will ensure you get your most desired questions answered first.

Where can I find a general practitioner near me?

Our Colorado Primary Health Care team is committed to making every patient feel comfortable and satisfied. If you are searching for a general practitioner to partner with as your primary care physician, we invite you to book an appointment using our online form or by calling our office at (303) 703-8583



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Family Medicine Conveniently Located in Littleton, CO


20 W Dry Creek Circle
Littleton, CO 80120


7:00am - 5:00pm
Mon - Fri


(303) 703-8583

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