What do I tell my provider at my yearly visit

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January 5, 2024

We don't get to spend a lot of time with our providers, so it’s important to come to yearly appointments prepared. Keeping a list of important things you want to talk about can be really helpful! Get back on the right track and connect with the care team by self enrolling, calling us at (410) 348-1905 or sending us an email.

You can save your list in a note on your phone or in a notebook that you bring with you. We’ve made it super easy for you with this yearly visit cheat sheet.

Whatever you decide to do, a written list can help you remember everything you want to talk about and make the most of your visit!  Your annual check-up is the perfect time to work with your provider to improve your health. Learn about how Perry connected with his provider and the difference that made for him.

Here are a few things to include in your list:

• Prescribed medications, over-the-counter medicines, and supplements: Your provider may ask about all of the prescribed medications, vitamins, supplements, or other over the counter medicines that you take regularly. Make a list ahead of time to be prepared. Are you taking Tylenol for pain? Nose spray for allergies? Your provider needs to know that! The more details, the better - medication name, amount, how often, and why you take the medication are all good things to include. Example: Lisinopril, 10mg, once a day, for high blood pressure. Or Tylenol, 500mg, twice a day, for back pain.

• Your other healthcare providers: Do you see multiple providers? It is important that they all know about each other! Make a list of their names, phone numbers, addresses, and why you see them. 

• New symptoms: Are you noticing anything new in your body like aches, pains, coughs, dizziness, or swelling? Be sure to share anything new with your provider. Some of these things could be caused by your condition or a medication you are taking. They can also be a sign of something new that needs to be evaluated. Note how often they occur, if they happen at certain times, and if you have noticed anything that makes them better or worse. 

• Lifestyle and emotional health updates: Let your provider know if you have made major changes in your diet, exercise, or other things. Also be sure to talk about any concerns you have about your stress level, anxiety, depression or other emotional things. It’s ok to be honest about how you’re feeling, your provider can help you connect to resources to feel better.

• Questions about your health: Jot down any questions so you don’t forget to ask them at your appointment. Do you want to better understand one of your prescribed medications? Ask about a new diet or supplement you heard about? Want to get advice on starting to exercise? Your provider can help!  

If you are seeing a new provider, there is additional information they will likely ask at your first visit. Write this information down for easy reference! 

Did you know? You may not have to provide this information yourself. Ask your provider’s office if they are able to request your health records from your old provider. 

Personal medical history

• Chronic conditions: A list of the conditions you are living with, how long you have had them, and how they are being treated. 

• Surgical history: A list of any major surgeries you have had and when you had them. 

• Screening history: A list of any mammograms, colonoscopies, blood tests, or any other screenings you’ve had in the last year.

• Vaccination history: Are you up to date on your vaccinations? Did you get your annual flu shot? When was your last covid shot? This information will help your provider create your vaccination schedule.

Family health history

Understanding the health history of your blood-related family members can give your provider clues about your health risks. If possible, collect information about your grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, siblings, and your children. Be sure to include: any chronic (ongoing) sicknesses, cancers, problems they were born with and sickness they died from. Example: My mom had breast cancer when she was 56, my dad has had lung problems since he was 60 or my brother was born with type 1 diabetes

Need more support?

Do you need our help with planning for your visit? Our care team is here for you. Have you downloaded the app? Send us a message through the Spotlight app for iOS or Spotlight app for Android. If not, call us at (410) 348-1905 or send us an email.

Other Resources

• 5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Doctor Visit

The content on this site is not and should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for individual medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always talk to your health care provider(s) for diagnosis and treatment, including information regarding which drugs, therapy, or other treatment may be appropriate for you. Learn more here.

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