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How to Prepare for a Doctor’s Appointment

Dr. Hernandez with a female patient

Published on April 4, 2022

Read Time: Two Minutes

Have you ever been in this scenario? You get home from your doctor’s appointment. Suddenly, you think of a question you wanted to ask your healthcare provider, or maybe you forgot what your doctor told you to do.

Get the most out of your doctor’s visit with the following tips:

Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.

Arriving early helps ensure you have enough time to check in and complete any forms needed, especially if you are a new patient seeing a doctor for the first time.

With Phelps Health MyChart, you can provide information and fill out questionnaires before your appointment.

Arriving early also can help you feel less stressed or rushed.

Make a list of questions and prioritize your concerns.

What do you want to get out of this visit? Are you visiting your doctor because you have new symptoms? Do you have questions about your medications?

Write down your questions ahead of time and bring the list with you. You may want to take a notebook to write down answers. Ask your most important questions first.

Remember, your provider likely has some concerns they want to discuss, too.

Bring an ID, insurance cards and medications.

Bring your ID, insurance card and either a list of medications you are taking (include dosages) or the actual medication bottles. Don’t forget to include any vitamins and dietary supplements. Bringing your medications or a list of your medications can help your doctor ensure that any new medications won’t affect your current medications.

Ask somebody to come with you.

Consider asking a family member or friend to come with you. This person can help you remember questions to ask and take notes.

Keep your provider up-to-date.

If you have had any appointments with other doctors or specialists, or maybe you had to go to the emergency room, make sure to let your provider know.

Additionally, tell your provider about any recent changes in your weight, sleep or energy levels. Some people keep symptom journals.

If anything in your family history has changed, let your doctor know this information, too.

By following this advice, you can make sure your doctor’s appointments are successful.

If you remember any questions you forgot to ask your provider or need to double check any instructions given, you can always message your care team on MyChart.

Make an Appointment Today!

Schedule your next appointment with your primary care provider by calling your doctor’s office or using MyChart. If you don’t have a primary care provider, establish care today. Call (573) 364-9000 or visit to find a doctor who is right for you.

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