Skip to main content

Tips for your next doctor visit

If you want to get the most out of your next doctor visit, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Don’t just ask what you should do. Ask why. Don’t just ask what your options are. Ask which is best for you and what effects each one will have in the short and long term. 

Your doctor is your most valuable partner in managing your health. Be sure you use your time together wisely.

Prepare for every visit

  • Be ready to say what your symptoms are, when they started and what you have done to treat them so far. It may help to write these things down before your doctor visit.
  • Write down the three questions that you most want to have answered.
  • Bring a list of all the medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements that you are taking.
  • Bring copies of recent test results if the tests were done by a different doctor.
  • Have a family member or friend with you during your appointment, if possible. He or she can take notes, ask questions to clarify information and help you remember what your doctor says.
  • Be prepared to talk about your history including medical products you had in the past, surgeries, hospital stays and regular medical care.

Know what to expect

Most routine doctor visits are alike. During the visit, your doctor will usually:

  • Ask some questions
  • Do a physical exam
  • Order tests, as needed
  • Give you medical advice or treatment
  • Review your medical history

At the end of the appointment, take a minute to write down the diagnosis, treatment plan and guidelines for self-care and follow-up visits or calls.

Aetna® is a trademark of Aetna Inc. and is protected throughout the world by trademark registrations and treaties.

Source: Healthwise, Incorporated. Available at Accessed 1 March 2017. 

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience. See our cookie policy for more information on how we use cookies and how you can manage them. If you continue to use this website, you are consenting to our policy and for your web browser to receive cookies from our website.