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Talking With Your Doctor

Summary

How well you and your doctor communicate with each other is one of the most important parts of getting good health care. Being prepared can help make the most of your visit. Here are some things you can bring:

  • Lists of your concerns, any allergies and all the medicines, herbs, or vitamins you take
  • A description of symptoms - when they started, what makes them better
  • A trusted friend or family member
  • A way to take notes during your appointment

Make sure you understand your diagnosis and any treatments. Ask your health care provider to write down his or her instructions to you. If you still have trouble understanding, ask where you can go for more information.

Start Here

  • (American Heart Association)
  • (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Eye Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health Video (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (Joint Commission) - PDF

Treatments and Therapies

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)

Related Issues

  • (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)
  • Video (American Heart Association)
  • (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) - PDF Also in
  • (Amputee Coalition of America) - PDF
  • (American College of Physicians) - PDF
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Nemours Foundation)

Health Check Tools

  • (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)

Videos and Tutorials

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

Children

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)

Seniors

  • (AGS Foundation for Health in Aging)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF

Patient Handouts

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