In order for us to give you the best possible care, here is a checklist of items and information you should bring to your appointment:
- Insurance information and card
- Picture ID: driver’s license
- Referral from your primary care physician, if applicable
- Co-payment or minimum payment (given at appointment time) for uninsured patients
- A complete list of the names and dosage of all the medications you take
- Any and all x-rays, MRIs or other imaging films (including written report)
- Information about what treatments and medications have been tried in the past
- Medical records from prior visits that you think may be helpful
- List of questions you want to ask your doctor
- New patients: complete a Patient Registration Form and bring with you to your appointment
Upon arrival, you will first be seen at the registration desk where we will verify your personal and insurance information. You will proceed to the waiting area and then to an exam room. During this time, you will be asked questions concerning your health and the reason you are seeing the doctor. You may be examined by a physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or orthopedic resident before you are seen by your doctor. If x-rays are needed, they will be obtained in the clinic.
After you have been seen by your doctor, you will stop at the check-out desk to obtain any follow-up appointments you may need.
We all know that most doctors are quite busy, so how can you get the most out of your visit? A little preparation can make a big difference. Just as you would prepare for a business meeting or a presentation, you need to have a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish at each visit.
1. Have an Identified Goal for the Visit
For example, are you seeing the doctor because of a specific health concern? Come prepared to discuss that concern and be able to describe signs and symptoms that may be associated with it. Remember that there is usually a set time allotted for an appointment. If you have multiple health concerns, come prepared to prioritize which concerns you want to address first. Realize that it may take more than one appointment to address multiple issues.
2. Bring a Written List of Questions or Concerns
If you think you may forget something, write it down and bring the questions with you. Having a notepad with you also allows you to jot down information or directions the doctor may give you.
3. Know Your Specific Symptoms
No one knows your body better than you, and your doctor relies on you to provide him/her with an accurate description of any significant changes or symptoms that are occurring. Be concise and focus when describing symptoms and concerns. For example: How often has a symptom occurred, at what time of day, and in what part of the body? Don’t be embarrassed to share details that may be important for the doctor to know such as changes in bowel movements, unusual odors, etc.
4. Bring a List of Current Medications and Supplements
Your doctor needs to know what medication and/or supplements you are taking. It’s always a good idea to bring a current list with you. Include the name of the medication or supplement, the dosage amount, and how frequently you are taking the medication.