Have you ever walked out of an appointment with your healthcare provider feeling like there was more you wanted to discuss? Don’t take a backseat to your personal health and wellness—prepare before you walk through that exam room door!

Here are some tips for making sure you make the most out of that 15-minute visit:

Seeing a new healthcare provider for the first time?

  • Create a brief list of your medical history
  • Write down the names of the prescriptions, or, better yet, snap a picture with your phone
  • Have your previous provider send over your records and/or any tests that you may have taken recently
  • Prepare a list of your other providers’ names and phone numbers
  • Don’t forget that insurance card!
  • Finished early? Make the most of your 15 minutes by asking additional questions and engaging in conversation

See a new medication or medical device on TV that you think might improve your overall health?

  • Research it by looking into the company that makes it
  • Go online and look for reviews from others like you
  • Get a list of the symptoms and prepare a list of questions to ask

Not feeling well?

  • Create a list of your symptoms
  • Keep a journal prior to the visit so you can track anything unusual
  • Keep a list of any changes you may have made recently to your daily routine
  • Don’t forget to wash those hands! (before and after the visit)

Use the buddy system:

  • Bring a partner or caregiver; they can take notes or they even might ask something you planned on asking but forgot


Remember, don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the waiting room; focus on your plan, and stick to it! This is your healthcare team. It’s a partnership; the more you communicate, the better your experience will be. Don’t be afraid to really make the most of those 15 minutes you have!


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