Manage Your Health: The First Visit

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we're talking about ways you can work with your doctor to help manage your health. You and your doctor are partners in your healthcare, but sometimes you have to start over with a new doctor. Dr. Shelley Roaten, chairman of family practice and community medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, has some tips for getting this new relationship off to a good start.

Call the new doctor's office in advance to see if you need to have your medical records sent, or bring a list of contact information for previous doctors so the new doctor can get this information. You will probably be given a health questionnaire at the first visit, so arrive early for your appointment in order to fill it out. Bring the medications you're taking or a list of them. You should also make a list of questions or concerns. Voice these at the beginning of your visit.

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March 2006

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