How does the information you give to members of your health team, especially your doctor, affect your care?

The information you provide the health care team helps:

  • Form the diagnosis
  • Make decisions about your therapy (by providing information on how you feel about certain issues such as making lifestyle changes, adverse effects of drugs, cost of drugs, etc.)

How can I make the most of the time I have during the visit?

The following suggestions will help foster productive interaction with your doctor:

  • Summarize your medical history in writing.
  • Bring all your important medical records with you (notes from other doctors, seizure calendars, lab results).
  • Bring a written list of questions. Put the most important 5 questions first. That may be all you have time to talk about at the first visit. You can save the others for follow-up visits or ask the nurse to help. 

How can I make sure I get all the information that I need?

  • Leave the visit with a clear understanding of the treatment plan. Make sure you go home with written instructions, particularly on how to take medications.
  • Know what to do if another seizure occurs or if you miss your medication.
  • Communicate your needs to your doctor, even those that involve sensitive issues.
  • If important questions come up after you leave the doctor's office, call later. The nurse may be able to help.


Authored By: 
Steven C. Schachter, MD
Reviewed By: 
Patty Obsorne Shafer RN, MN
Sunday, July 28, 2013