Before the Appointment
Now that you’ve selected a PCP and made a new patient appointment, there are some tasks to complete in the days before the appointment. Take time to make a list of:
- Your prescriptions, over-the-counter medication, vitamins and alternative medicines
- Your health history, including chronic conditions and illnesses, allergies and previous surgeries
- The health goals you’d like to achieve in the future
- The names and phone numbers of specialists you’ve seen
It’s also helpful to make a list of health issues you need addressed and be prepared to bring results from any recent physical in addition to your vaccination record.
On the day of the appointment, show up at least 15 minutes before your scheduled time. If you need to, you can bring a person you trust to the appointment who can be in the room with you and help take notes about what the doctor says.
At your first appointment, you’re required to have:
- A current health plan identification card
- A driver’s license, or another form of photo identification
If you didn’t make a list of your medications, bring the actual bottle(s) or box they come in from the pharmacy.
If you have any recent lab results or imaging results from an X-ray, MRI, etc., bring those with you, too.
The first visit with your new PCP may just be a discussion, allowing them time to get to know you and your medical history better.
Here are some questions you can be prepared to ask:
- What’s the best way you can contact them if you have questions?
- What’s the best way for you to get a prescription refilled?
- How far in advance do you need to call for an appointment?
- Where should you go if you need urgent or emergency care?
Getting off on the right foot with your PCP is important for your long-term relationship. Being open and honest as well as comfortable with them will benefit both of you for years to come.
Just remember, your PCP is there to help you – ask questions, listen to the answers and be proactive about your health and you’ll get along just fine.
After the Appointment
Following your initial appointment with your new PCP, it’s important you schedule any follow-up visits, tests or labs before leaving the office.
To stay in touch with your new PCP and the office staff, sign-up for OSF MyChart. Instructions to sign up for OSF MyChart will be included on your After Visit Summary.
The After Visit Summary contains relevant information and instructions about your visit, vitals, medications, immunizations, a summary of topics covered during the visit, future appointments, labs, tests and screenings and more.