Preparing for a Visit with Your Healthcare Provider

You’ve taken a very important step in your weight management journey – finding a healthcare provider (HCP) and scheduling your next appointment. Whether this is your first appointment or one of many, being prepared for a visit with your HCP can make a big difference in the care you receive.

Being Proactive with Your Healthcare

Your HCP wants to help you on your weight management journey, but that requires a level of effort from you as well! In fact, having a healthy partnership is one key to long-term success.

When you are proactive with your healthcare, you build the foundation for better health. This means taking the initiative to schedule appointments, come prepared, actively listen, apply advice and come in for follow-up visits. All of this “work” works in your favor!


Arriving Prepared: What to Bring with You

So, how should you prepare for a visit with your healthcare provider? Consider these tips when getting ready for your next appointment or follow-up visit:

Know Your Symptoms and/or Concerns.

Be prepared to talk about any current symptoms you may be experiencing, as well as any and all concerns you may have at this time. Sometimes, it helps to keep a journal to log this kind of information and present it in a clear and concise manner.

Have Your Medical History Ready.

Knowing more about your health background will help your doctor offer appropriate care and treatment. Try to be as detailed and accurate as possible, and include items such as: medical conditions, current medications, dates of past surgeries/procedures, doctors’ names and contact information, drug allergies, etc.

Bring a List of Questions.

During your appointment, time has the habit of flying by. You might forget to ask some of the important questions you had before arriving. Brainstorm your questions before your visit, prioritize them, add them to a concise list and bring them with you.

Bring Something to Write with.

Taking notes will help you follow-up with your care and treatment plan. If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask your HCP to clarify. Write down any important terminology, numbers and advice you are offered during your appointment.

Don’t Forget Any Relevant Forms or ID.

This includes a photo ID as well as your insurance card and/or appropriate forms.

Bring Someone You Trust.

Sometimes, it helps to bring a trusted friend or family member along for support – especially if you’re talking about a sensitive subject such as weight. This person can also act as a second set of ears to help you digest any information you may have missed.

A List of Refills You Currently Need.

Whether you’re visiting a new doctor or someone you are already seeing, it may come in handy to assess your prescription needs before your appointment. Also be sure to account for any prescriptions that are running low and may need refills soon.

Arrive with Honesty and Transparency.

Visiting your healthcare provider can sometimes be intimidating, but you should be honest about your experiences and transparent with your goals and expectations. This will help your HCP work with you to develop an appropriate care and treatment plan.


Coming adequately prepared to a visit with your healthcare provider will help ensure that your appointment goes as smoothly as possible. Before your visit is over, you might also want to consider getting your HCP’s contact information and asking for an appointment card for the next time you come back. Preparedness is key!

Need Help Getting Ready to Talk with a Healthcare Provider about Your Weight?

Visit yourweightmatters.org today to prepare yourself for the conversation of weight and health with your healthcare provider.

Complete the Your Weight Matters Challenge and receive a FREE toolkit to help you get ready for your appointment!