Gather your documents ahead of time.
Put all your documents in one folder, or make sure the information you need will be accessible from your smartphone. Key documents include:
- List of Decoder questions
- List of current medications (prescription, over the counter, natural supplements), including dosage
- Brief record of your symptoms (including date of onset and length of duration)
- If you are seeing a doctor for the first time, you also may want to bring:
- Completed Trust Card
- Personal and family health history
Make a plan for documenting what you learn.
Decide ahead of time how you will capture the information you need. You can:
- Ask your doctor if you can record the conversation on your smartphone
- Use a notes app on your smartphone
- Bring a tablet or laptop
- Bring a notepad and pencil or pen
Bring a friend or family member.
Doctor’s appointments can be confusing and stressful, making it hard to remember exactly what was said. It can be helpful to bring someone with you to take notes, so you can focus on what the doctor is saying.
Don’t be afraid to ask follow up questions.
- If you don’t understand something during the appointment, speak up and let the doctor know. You may be surprised at how often the doctor will respond with “that’s a good question.”
- Ask your doctor how you can communicate outside the appointment. Some doctors welcome email, while others prefer you call the office and relay your question through their staff.
Expect a partnership.
By coming to your doctor well-prepared, you are setting the stage for a relationship of mutual trust and respect.