How to Make the Most Out of Your Doctor Visit

Connect Healthy Tips How to Make the Most Out of Your Doctor Visit

Being able to talk with your doctor is important, especially if you have health problems or concerns. Use these tips to make the most out of your doctor visit.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Doctor Visit

Prepare for your doctor visit.

Prepare a short script of your recent health and be ready to share it with your doctor. You can even write things down so you don’t forget. Share your symptoms, current medicines or vitamins, health habits, and any major life changes. Also, bring any questions you’ve had recently about your health.

Be ready to listen.

Take notes or ask for written materials. Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor to repeat or clarify important information.

Work with your doctor.

Make decisions together with your doctor that meet your needs. Discuss risks, benefits, and costs of tests and treatments. Ask about other options and preventive things you can do.

Be sure you understand before you leave.

If you have trouble hearing, ask your doctor to face you when talking and to speak louder and more clearly. Ask clarifying questions. Repeat back what you heard the doctor say to make sure you understand in your own words.

Be vocal about how you feel.

Tell the doctor if you feel rushed, worried, or uncomfortable. You can offer to return for a second visit or follow up by phone or email.

Remember, you are your own health advocate. Don’t be afraid to speak up for your needs. A good doctor will want you to do this. They want to help you.

Learn More From the Health Information Center

For more information about communicating with your doctor or being your own health advocate, contact the Health Information Center. The Health Information Center is a library with information and books you can check out, including the following:

The take-charge patient : how you can get the best medical care

The patient advocate’s handbook : 300 questions and answers to help you care for your loved one at the hospital and at home

When a loved one falls ill : how to be an effective patient advocate

The library is staffed by medical librarians and certified health information specialists. The Health Information Center can do research on any health topic and get the results to you for free. Contact them at 865-305-9525 or They are located on the first floor of the hospital. In addition to health information, you can find computers, printers, and a quiet place to take a break. Becoming a library member is free and only requires a picture ID.


Monday-Thursday, 8:30 am-9 pm
Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm
Saturday, 9 am-5 pm
Sun 1 pm-9 pm


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