Your Clinic Appointment

At MUSC, we strive to be a partner in your health decisions. However, the ultimate choice belongs to you. It is our responsibility to provide with competent medical advice, and help you understand your medical care.

Physician going over medical chart with senior female patient

Meeting with your doctor can sometimes be a stressful encounter. But it does not have to be … if you are prepared. During times of stress, we tend to forget important information that physicians need to know about in order to develop a course of action for our illnesses. Below are a few tips to help you through this process.

Come prepared

Write down the following information to bring with you to your appointment:

  • What medications are you taking? Include all supplements and vitamins.
  • When did you first notice your condition?
  • If you are in pain, when did your pain first begin?
  • Have there been any personal traumatic events or experiences that have occurred recently?
  • Have there been changes in diet or regularity?
  • Has there been any increase in the use of alcohol or drugs?

Questions to answer

During your appointment, be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms ever included fever?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • On a scale of 1–10, with ten being the most severe, what is your level of pain?
  • About how long do your symptoms last?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?

Questions to ask

A few simple questions may help you feel better about any upcoming procedure, such as:

  • How long will my condition last?
  • What happens if my condition is left untreated?
  • What tests should I be given?
  • Why is this test performed?
  • Why do I need this procedure?
  • How many times do you perform this procedure every year?
  • What are the possible complications?
  • Are there any side effects?
  • Are there any alternatives?
  • Do you have any brochures on this condition?
  • When will I get the results?
  • What number can I call with questions?
  • What number can I call for prescriptions?
  • How do you spell the name of that drug?
  • Will this medicine interact with medicines that I’m already taking?

Remember that a conversation with your doctor is confidential. Be honest and complete.