Tips for Your Upcoming Visit

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Questions to ask yourdoctor or nurse

  • Will you need your prescriptions filled soon?
  • Will you need a signed form for any activity restrictions, medical equipment, parking permit, etc.?
  • When should you schedule your next appointment?

What you can expect from your doctor

Being able to communicate with your doctor in an open and honest manner is essential to a good working relationship. You are also more likely to be satisfied with the care if you have realistic expectations about your doctor. You cannot always expect a cure, but you can expect your doctor to give you:

  • An opportunity to ask some questions and discuss concerns
  • A clear explanation of your health status
  • Quality care
  • Help making decisions about your health needs
  • Confidentiality
  • Appropriate referrals

We can help you further: how to help your doctor analyze your symptoms

Before each medical appointment, it is helpful for you to analyze your symptoms and be prepared for questions that your doctor may ask you.

  • What is your main problem?
  • How long have you had it?
  • What does it feel like?
  • How often does it occur?
  • Do the symptoms come and go, or are they persistent?
  • What brings it on (e.g., activity, food, position, stress)?
  • What time of day is it the worst?
  • Is there any pattern to the symptoms?
  • What makes it better (e.g., medications, ceasing the activity)?
  • What makes it worse?
  • Is it associated with any other symptoms?

Remember: The information you provide for your doctor regarding your symptoms frequently will provide the keys to the diagnosis. You are the expert on how your body feels.