Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You're likely to first seek advice from your family doctor, but he or she might refer you to a specialist in joint diseases (rheumatologist).

Because appointments can be brief and there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Write down your symptoms, including when they first started and how often they flare up.
  • Write down your key medical information, including any other health conditions with which you've been diagnosed.
  • List all the medications you're currently taking, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, or supplements.
  • Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who accompanies you can help remember information that you missed or forgot.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor. Creating your list of questions in advance can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.

What to expect from your doctor

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 are your symptoms, and when did they first develop?
  • Do your symptoms come and go, or are they continuous?
  • When are your symptoms most likely to flare up?
  • What treatments or self-care measures have you tried so far?
  • Have any treatments or self-care measures helped?
  • Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
April 03, 2013