Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Although you're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or general practitioner, he or she may refer you to a doctor trained in nervous system disorders (neurologist). Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and to know what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • 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.
  • Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to soak up all the information you get during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something you missed or forgot.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Preparing a list of questions for your doctor will help you make the most of your time together. For multiple sclerosis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
  • What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
  • Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
  • Will my condition progress?
  • What treatments are available?
  • What are the side effects of each treatment?
  • What treatment do you feel would be best for me?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there restrictions I need to follow?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?

Don't hesitate to ask any other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor likely will ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • Does anyone in your family have multiple sclerosis?
Dec. 15, 2012