1. Should you keep track of your own medical history? YES
- Keeping your own medical history helps in tracking allergies, past illnesses, medications and so on.
- It’s helpful if you move to a new area and change health plans.
- It also comes in handy when comparing your medical and insurance bills to your own records.
2. When talking about current medications with your doctor, should you mention over-the-counter drugs you’re taking? YES
- List all medications, nonprescription drugs and any other herbal supplements or vitamins.
- Describe any problems or allergies to past medications.
3. Do you need to bring anything to the appointment? YES
- A list of questions regarding your symptoms, condition and if you’re having any ongoing treatments.
- Your medical history and a list of your current medications.
- A family member with you to take notes, ask questions and act as an advocate on your behalf.
- Use a voice recording app from your phone or pen and paper to take notes.
WHN TIP – Ask Questions: Always ask about things you don’t understand (tests, procedures, symptoms, diagnoses, medications, etc.).
4. Do you need to use the same pharmacy each time you fill a prescription? NO, BUT IT’S RECOMMENDED
Choosing one pharmacy means your medications (and any reactions to meds) and other health information may be easier to track. This will help you, your doctor and your pharmacist to better manage your medications and overall health.
5. Should you ever seek a second opinion? SOMETIMES
Getting a second opinion is always up to you. Most insurance plans cover second opinions; however, they might charge. Talk to your health insurance agent or review your policy.
You may want to consider a second opinion if
- You have been presented with a major diagnosis (heart disease, cancer, etc.)
- You need to make a decision about treatment options (i.e. chemotherapy, drug therapy, surgery).
The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. These tips are from doctors, nurses and people who have shared their real-life advice; always check with a doctor or other appropriate medical professional you trust before making any health care changes.
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