Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Whether you first see your family doctor or get emergency care, you'll likely be referred to a heart specialist (cardiologist). Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Write down your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to your heart.
  • Make a list of all your medications, vitamins or supplements.
  • Write down your key medical information, including other diagnosed conditions.
  • Write down key personal information, including any recent changes or stressors in your life.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • What treatments can help?
  • What risks does my heart condition create?
  • How often will I need follow-up appointments?
  • Do I need to restrict my activities?
  • How will other conditions that I have or medications I take affect my heart problem?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may make time to go over points you want to spend more time on. You may be asked:
  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms, and how severe are they?
  • How often have you experienced a fast heartbeat?
  • How long have the episodes lasted?
  • Does anything such as exercise, stress or caffeine seem to trigger or worsen the episodes?
  • Do you have a family history of heart disease?
March 19, 2014