You asked us

Winter 2013

How can I get the most out of an appointment with my family doctor?

To get the most out of an appointment with your family doctor (also called a primary health-care provider), the primary health-care team from London Health Science Centre’s Byron Family Medical Centre recommends the following:

Before you go, prepare by bringing the following:

  • Your valid Health Card, current phone number and address for the receptionist
  • A book, magazine or e-reader so the time will pass quickly if you have to wait 
  • A list of up-to-date allergies or intolerances to medications
  • All prescription medications in their original containers, including herbal supplements, vitamins, minerals and other over-the-counter medications (or make a complete list of medication names with dosages and how often you take them) 
  • A list of your long-term prescription medications that will need renewal before your next expected appointment 
  • A family member or trusted friend to drive you if you are feeling unwell, to listen and ask questions on your behalf, support you and, if needed, translate for you
  • A written list of the top concerns you want to discuss during the appointment so that you remember to cover all of the questions you may have
  • Appropriate clothing that won’t hamper an exam or be difficult to remove if you have to change into a gown. For example, wear loose, short sleeves to enable a blood pressure cuff to fit comfortably on your arms
  • A willingness to prevent the spread of germs by cleaning your hands (either by washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer) when entering and exiting the office


At your appointment remember to share:

  • Any immunizations or medications  you have received elsewhere since your last visit
  • Any changes to your personal health history since last your visit, such as visits to an emergency department
  • Any changes to your family history since your last visit
  • Your hopes and expectations for the visit
  • Any concerns in a clear, honest and concise manner 
  • Any fears or questions about what is going on
  • If you would like instructions and advice to be written down for you 
  • If you don’t understand what is being told to you   
  • If you don’t think you can or will carry out what has been advised and why
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