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Get ready to see your doctor: Tips for your visit

Learn how to make the most of your appointment and partner with your doctor on your care decisions.

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Playing a role in decisions that affect your health

As you prepare for your doctor visit, it’s good to think through ahead of time what you want to talk about. At Optum, we want you to feel comfortable talking through all the steps of your care journey.

Part of how we do that is encouraging you to have a shared decision-making talk with your doctor. Here’s how it works:

  • Step 1: You have an open conversation with your doctor, including any questions or concerns you may have.
  • Step 2: Your doctor talks to you about the care options that are best for you.
  • Step 3: Together, you and your doctor create a care plan that works best for you. 
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Before your doctor visit:

  • Write down your health goals, symptoms, questions and concerns. 
  • Fill out any paperwork or forms you may have received.
  • Ask the office for an interpreter to attend, if needed. 
  • Bring a friend or family member with you for support, if needed.
  • Plan ahead if you need a ride to the clinic.
  • Arrive early so you don't feel rushed.

It’s a good idea to bring:

  • Patient forms
  • Names and phone numbers of other doctors you see
  • Your health insurance card and photo ID 
  • A list — or bottles — of all medicines and supplements you take and why you take them 
  • Medical history and record of shots you've had 
  • Advance care planning information

During your appointment:

  • Try to relax.  
  • Be honest and share all details about your health. 
  • Talk to your doctor if you're not sure you understand everything. 
  • Ask about any tests or medicines you might need. 
  • Tell your doctor about any specialists you’re seeing. 
  • Talk about your emotional, social and mental health needs.
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Get the care you need, when you need it

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Primary care

Your primary care doctor will see you for most of your health care needs. These include checkups, shots and minor illnesses and injuries.

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Specialty care

When you need more than primary care, our specialists are here to help.

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Virtual care

If you’re worried about leaving home to visit your doctor, see if you can have a virtual visit.

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