When entering a doctor’s office, we usually all have the same feeling — some mix of anxiety and hesitation. While there most certainly should not be any worries or fears, it’s only human to feel that growing uneasiness. Preparation is the most important thing you can do. Know what you should bring when seeing a doctor for the first time.

Bring a list of your medications

It’s important to bring a list of your medications to your doctor at Providence biologics clinic, including any vitamins and herbal supplements you take. It may seem like a hassle to write this down, but if you forget to mention something to your doctor, it may have a big impact on your overall health.

For example, the drug warfarin (brand name Coumadin) is used to prevent blood clots, but it interacts with many other drugs and supplements. If you don’t mention that you’re taking warfarin when getting a prescription for an antibiotic that interacts with the drug, you might end up having excessive bleeding. This could be life-threatening.

Bring your insurance cards

Bringing your insurance cards with you to the doctor’s office will help them in a number of ways. First, they’ll be able to verify your coverage and make sure that the services you receive will be fully or partially covered. Second, they’ll be able to bill your insurance company directly instead of billing you first and making you submit it for reimbursement.

You’ll also save time at the reception desk when they don’t have to call you back on the phone to get that information after the fact.

Allergies

As you consider the information you should bring to your first appointment, make sure you include any allergies you have. This also applies if you’re seeing a specialist for a specific issue; it’s important to give them any relevant information about your reaction to previous treatments or procedures.

Even if you don’t think allergies are related to the reason for your visit, it’s still good practice to let them know. This can help the doctor avoid making recommendations that could be harmful, and it also helps create a complete picture of your health history.

A list of any medical conditions you have

If you are seeing a doctor for the first time, it is important to bring a list of conditions you have been diagnosed with. You should include conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and any other health condition that applies to you.

Current symptoms

One of the most important things you can do is be prepared to discuss your current symptoms. To get the most out of your first visit, take a few moments to think about what it is that brought you in to see this particular doctor. What’s bothering you? When did it start? How long has it been going on? What makes it better or worse?

If you’ve been experiencing any specific symptoms, such as pain or fatigue, try to take note of whether they’re constant or come and go. Your answers to these questions will help the doctor determine how serious your condition might be and what steps should be taken next.

Include a list of any operations you have had

If you’re seeing a new doctor for the first time, it’s important to bring a list of any surgeries you’ve undergone in the past. This is especially true if you’ve had surgeries that involved your heart or internal organs. Why? Because the more surgeries you’ve had on your heart, the riskier it is to have more operations in that area.

In essence, each time you undergo heart surgery, there’s a higher chance that you could suffer complications. And if you don’t tell your doctor about all of them, he or she may not know how risky an operation could actually be for you. If you’ve had anything done to your heart or any other organ, let your doctor know.

From insurance plans to allergic reactions to previous surgeries, there’s plenty of potentially revealing data you should consider bringing to your initial appointment. In fact, the more that you can bring upfront, the more efficient and smooth your appointment will run. Most importantly, however, make sure that your information is accurate and up-to-date.