Appointment Tips

Preparing for Your Appointment

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

Review Your Symptoms

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:

  • What is your main symptom or medical concern?
  • How long have you had it?
  • How often and when does it occur?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptom or condition — for example, activity, food, position, stress?
  • What, if anything, appears to improve your symptom or condition — for example, medication, increasing activity?
  • Is it associated with other symptoms?
  • Have other people in your family experienced similar health problems?
  • Has this problem been addressed by another physician or medical facility? If yes, please try to bring these medical records.

Items to Bring to Your Appointment

Bring the following to your appointment:

  • A list of your current medications and how much you are taking of each. Your doctor may ask to see your medications, so please bring the bottles or containers. Please also remember to bring any vitamins/dietary supplements, eyedrops, birth control pills, over-the-counter medications, and topical (skin) medications.
  • If possible, bring a letter from your local doctor summarizing your medical condition(s) and the medical issues to be addressed at Mayo Clinic.
  • Pertinent X-rays and pathology slides (actual films and tissue slides — not just reports) as well as other test results related to your current medical concerns.
  • Any forms you were asked to bring with you (e.g., completed "Current Visit Information" and "Patient Family History" forms).
  • The name, address, and telephone number of the physician who referred you, if applicable, and your local physician.
  • Written authorization of referral from your Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) if you have either type of health insurance coverage.
  • Your insurance information and Medicare card if you have one.
  • Items to help pass the time while you wait between appointments, such as books, magazines, writing materials, knitting, embroidery, or other small handwork. You may also bring a battery-powered laptop computer if you wish.

Preventive Services

As part of your comprehensive medical evaluation, your provider may ask about preventive services including: mammogram, Pap smear, colonoscopy, prostate testing, and immunizations. Please review when you last had these tests performed. Mayo would be happy to arrange any necessary preventive services during your visit.