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Making Important Health Care Decisions? First, Talk with Your Doctor

You’re in charge of what you eat, how much exercise you get, and many other health-related choices you make each day. But when it comes to making important health care decisions, sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. Your most trusted source for this information? Your primary care physician. Your doctor’s office is a one-stop shop when you have questions or need advice regarding your health and wellness. And because your primary care doctor knows you and your medical history, he or she can offer personalized advice. Here’s what you need to know to make the most out of every visit.

Be Upfront and Honest

Your primary care physician helps you prevent health problems and manage chronic diseases. But before your doctor can offer an expert opinion, he or she needs to know as much information as possible about your health.

Here are some items you’ll need to share:

  • Any past operations, health conditions, and treatments

  • All medications you take and how often you take them (including supplements)

  • Symptoms you’re experiencing if you are not feeling well—even if you think they’re embarrassing

  • Any big life changes or stress you’re experiencing

With this information, your doctor can customize your care and tailor his or her advice especially for you.

Take an Active Role in Your Health

When you visit your doctor, make sure you’re clear on the information he or she gives you. If you’re unsure about anything—ask questions! If you don’t ask, your doctor may assume you understand. Have a health problem and unsure of the type of doctor to see? Simply ask your primary care physician. He or she also coordinates your health care team and will let you know if you should see a surgeon or other specialist. Your primary doctor will then work with the specialist to manage your health.

Remember: Your doctor can tell you steps you can take to improve your health, but it’s up to you to follow them. Together, you can make the right decisions for you.


Online Medical Reviewer: Godsey, Cynthia, MSN, APRN, MSHE, FNP-BC
Online Medical Reviewer: Renee Watson, L., MSN, RN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2019
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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Our web site is designed to provide general information to educate users about programs and services, which may be available through our hospitals. The web site is not intended to provide medical advice nor should the information be used to attempt to determine the presence, absence or severity of any illness or medical condition which may be perceived or experienced by the user of this site. If you have or suspect you may have an illness or condition which you believe requires medical attention, we recommend you call your primary care physician. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency please call "911" (or your local medical emergency number) or seek immediate care from the nearest hospital Emergency Department. The provision of information to users of this web site is not intended as an inducement or to otherwise influence a person's decision to order or receive any item or service from a particular provider, practitioner or supplier that is reimbursable under Medicare, a state healthcare program (e.g., AHCCS) or any other healthcare plan.

Physicians are members of the medical staff at each facility, but are independent contractors who are neither employees nor agents of Brookwood Baptist Health System; and, as a result, Brookwood Baptist Health System is not responsible for the actions of any of these physicians in their medical practices.