Selecting a Doctor
You're more likely to bring up all your health concerns with a doctor you feel comfortable with. Your primary doctor should be most familiar with your medical history, and so is probably the perfect person to coordinate your care and refer you to specialists as necessary.
What type of primary care doctor is right for you? Consider these options:
- Family and general practitioners care for a wide range of health concerns. They may be able to treat family members of any age.
- Internists treat adults and may have additional training in specialties such as cardiology.
- OB/GYN (obstetrics/gynecology) practitioners specialize in women's health, including pregnancy and childbirth.
- Pediatricians provide care to children and adolescents.
- Geriatricians specialize in the care of older adults.
Information to Provide Your Doctor
You might be asked to share the following information at your appointment:
- Medical history – Tell your doctor about current or past health conditions. Also discuss your family medical history.
- Allergies – Mention any allergies you have.
- Medications and supplements – Bring a list of all prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbs you're taking.
- Health insurance – Bring your health plan ID card with you.
Before Your Visit
Think about and jot down what you'll say and what you want to ask. For example, ask yourself:
- Am I experiencing any health issues or symptoms that I'm concerned about? How should I describe them to the doctor?
- How long have I had these symptoms? Have they changed over time?
- What information do I need?