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Preparing for an Appointment

Preparing for a St. Luke’s Appointment

If you’re seeing a provider because of a new condition, you should first prepare at home. 

  • If your provider sent you paperwork to fill out, please review it and fill out the forms before your visit. 
  • Keep a log or diary of any new or disturbing symptoms, even if they seem unrelated to the primary concern. If you don't write them down, you might remember only those symptoms you actually feel when you are seeing your provider. 
  • Consider in advance the questions you would like to ask your provider or what special information you would like from your provider. Write these down. 
  • Bring your questions and your symptom diary with you. You might type or write these and even make a copy to give to your provider. 
  • Bring a list of the medications you take or the bottles themselves. Bring your personal identification and insurance card.
  • Don't hesitate to bring someone else with you to your appointment. Give a copy of your questions to this person so that he or she can remind you what questions to ask. Introduce this person to your provider, and tell your provider that you appreciate this person's presence during the consult.
  • Ask your provider for permission to audio-record your visit, so you can review your provider's explanations and answers to your questions after you get home. At the very least, you or the person you bring should take notes of what your provider says. This will help you remember the discussion.
  • Tell your provider that you’d like answers to some questions that are very important to you. Start with the most important question. The answer you receive may change the order or nature of the other questions you want to ask. Listen carefully, and note the answers as well as any other questions that these answers might raise.
  • Make sure you understand any instructions you are given. If clarification is needed, review your instructions with the provider or medical assistant before you leave. If you aren’t doing well after your visit, we want to hear from you. Our goal is to improve your health.
  • Ask your provider to make a full and understandable explanation of his or her diagnosis of your condition, as well as various treatment options and their consequences. Ask for his or her recommendations for treatment and for the final prognosis.
  • Make decisions for a specific treatment when you are ready and feel comfortable with your decision. If you have any doubts about your diagnosis, the recommended treatment, or your prognosis (with or without the recommended treatment), remember that you can always get a second opinion. Always consider a second opinion as a possibility if you feel at all uncertain about these issues. Tell your provider or the clinic nurse that you would like a second opinion, and ask for the names of other recommended specialists.