Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You'll likely first discuss your symptoms with your family doctor. He or she may refer you to a doctor trained in brain and nervous system conditions (neurologist) for further evaluation.

Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot to talk about, 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 know what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance.
  • Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
  • Ask a family member or friend to come with you, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor, such as what tests or treatments he or she may recommend.

Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions ahead of time will help you make the most of your time together. For essential tremor, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes of my symptoms?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • How does essential tremor usually progress?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
  • Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.

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:

  • Do you have a family history of tremor?
  • Have you ever had a head injury?
  • What parts of your body are affected?
  • Does anything make your tremors better or worse?
  • What medications are you taking?
Feb. 20, 2013

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