Heading to a Doctor’s Appointment? Don’t Forget These 5 Things!

Susan Szulc, MD

It’s the start of the New Year!  If you haven’t seen your primary care physician in a while, now is the time to make an appointment; many insurance plans are offering incentives for preventative visits or physicals.  Whether you are seeing a new physician or have an established relationship with a family doctor, here are some important things to bring with you to your appointment:

  1. Current medication list. This is good to have on you at all times.  Be sure to keep it updated, though.  And don’t forget to include over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements that you take.
  2. Summary of your medical record. Keep a running tab of pertinent studies (and the results), your specialists’ names, and any chronic medical conditions you may have.  If you are seeing a new physician for the first time, request your medical records from your prior doctor.  If you move around frequently, it’s not a bad idea to keep a current copy of your medical record at home.
  3. Journal of symptoms. Have a specific concern? Spend some time before rushing to the doctor to think about your condition. Keep track of important details: timing of any symptoms (how long it lasts, when it started, if it is constant or intermittent), description of the symptoms, etc as this can help your doctor pinpoint a diagnosis. You should also record if anything makes it worse or better.
  4. Recent results from labs or imaging. Despite today’s technology, oftentimes results don’t get copied to your primary care provider. If you saw a specialist, ask them for a copy of the results to bring to your primary care physician.
  5. List of questions. It never fails! As soon as you walk out of the doctor’s office, you suddenly remember the urgent question you had to ask. Avoid missing the boat by writing your questions down ahead of time.

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About Dr. Susan Szulc
Susan V. Szulc, MD, is a board-certified internist with Bon Secours Medical Associates at Virginia Beach. She received her bachelor of science in microbiology from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla. Dr. Szulc earned her medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, Va., where she also completed a residency in internal medicine. Dr. Szulc is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She is a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians and American Medical Women’s Association. Dr. Szulc’s special interests include palliative care and hypertension.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Szulc please call (757) 305-1797!

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