Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

While you may initially consult your family physician, he or she may refer you to a specialist, depending on which of your organ systems is affected by the infection. For example, a dermatologist specializes in skin conditions, while a cardiologist treats heart disorders. Or you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases.

What you can do

You may want to write a list that includes:

  • Detailed descriptions of your symptoms
  • Information about medical problems you've had
  • Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
  • All the medications and dietary supplements you take
  • Questions you want to ask the doctor

For staph infection, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • Are there any other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
  • What kind of tests do I need?
  • Is my condition likely temporary?
  • What's the best course of action?
  • Will I infect others?
  • Should I see a specialist?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
  • Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

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

  • When did you first notice your symptoms? Could you describe them to me?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Have you been around anyone with a staph infection?
  • Do you have any implanted medical devices, such as an artificial joint or a pacemaker?
  • Do you have any ongoing medical conditions, including an impaired immune system?
  • Have you recently been in the hospital?
  • Do you play contact sports?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to worsen your symptoms?
Jun. 09, 2011