1. Make a list and prioritize concerns: Make a list of topics to review and help the patient to organize the list. If there are more than a few items to talk about, put them in order. Ask about the most important ones first. Do not put off the things that are important until the end of the appointment—bring them up right away!
    • For example, is there a new symptom to ask the provider about?
    • For example, is there a concern about how a treatment is affecting daily life?
  2. Bring a current medication list: It is important for the provider to know what medications the patient is taking. This includes:
    • Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications
    • Vitamins and herbal supplements
    • Names of the medications, vitamins or supplements
    • Vitamins and herbal supplements
    • How much they take and how often they take it
  3. Keep your provider up-to-date: Let the provider know what has happened since the last visit. It is very important to tell if the patient went to the emergency room or another specialist. Mention any changes you’ve seen. Also, tell the provider about any recent changes in any medications or the effects.
  4. Consider bringing a caregiver, family member, or friend to the visit: Sometimes it is helpful for someone to go with the patient to their visit. Talk with the patient about this before the visit and ask what they want from the visit.
    Caregivers, family members, or friends can act as a spokesperson for other family members who may not be able to go with them. Note taking is helpful and can help to remember what the provider said.
    At some visits, it may not be possible to have someone attend the visit with the patient. Remember, attending the visit via telephone or video is an option.
  5. Request an interpreter if needed: Do not let language barriers stop from asking questions or voicing your concerns. Always let the provider, the interpreter, or the staff know if you do not understand the diagnosis or instructions from the care team.
  6. Bring your binder: The binder we provide is a great resource to keep appointment and health information organized.

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