The top five things your doctor wants

How to get the most out of your next doctor visit


Doctor Visit

Before a doctors visit

If you go to the doctor regularly to get treatment for conditions like high blood pressure (hypertension) or high blood sugar (diabetes) you probably know how important it is to make the most out of the time you spend with your doctor. Indeed, a little bit of preparation goes a long way to help you do that! Oddly enough, your doctor is not too different from your most reliable car mechanic. Both of these experts need for you to bring them useful information.  Let’s explain.

Imagine you were having car troubles. You call your favorite mechanic for help and he tells you to come right in.  You show up immediately at the garage and drop your car keys on his desk.


Preparing for doctor appointment is important!

This is a silly example because clearly your mechanic needs to work on your car in order to figure out the problem.  Similarly, a person with high blood pressure or diabetes should bring their doctor information to work with at the time of their visit. Useful information could include an updated medication list and diary of blood pressure and blood sugars readings. Such details can really help both you and your doctor.

Information to take to doctors visit: make a checklist!

We polled our doctor colleagues to see what they wished their patient had remembered to bring to their last visit.  Here is the inside scoop, turns out it’s not too surprising:

Doctors visit checklist

Bring your medication bottles OR an UPDATED medication list that reflects the medications you ACTUALLY take.
If you check your weight, blood pressure or blood sugar at home, bring your diary with you.
Keep a log of your different doctor and laboratory visits and bring this to the appointment. This log should contain information like your specialist visit dates and time/location of laboratory testing.
Know your pharmacy information. This includes if you need a mail away service. Then if a medication change or refill is needed, the doctor can send it to your pharmacy electronically.
If possible, bring your insurance coverage card, more specifically know your drug coverage plan. This information will allow the doctor to pick an affordable medication if it is needed.
About the Authors

Chris Palmeiro D.O. M.Sc.


Dr. Palmeiro is Chairman of Endocrinology at the HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, he also serves patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the Westchester Institute of Human Development in Valhalla, New York. He has a Masters of Science degree in clinical nutrition and is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine. His interests within the realm of endocrinology include nutrition support, obesity counseling and the progressive management of diabetes.


Jose Taveras M.D. F.A.C.C.


Dr Taveras works as a cardiologist caring for spanish speaking communities in the Bronx. He completed a dual residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and then served as chief resident of internal medicine at the St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center of New York. He went on to specialize in cardiovascular disease at NYU Winthrop Hospital , under the mentorship of Dr. Kevin Marzo, chief of Cardiology at Winthrop. He is board certified in both internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases, and sub specializes in echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and computed tomography of the heart. Apart from his work in community outreach, Dr. Taveras' career focuses on innovation and technology. Dr. Taveras is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. 

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Last Modified: Sep 23, 2017 @ 6:28 pm

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