Use Health Care

Appointment Checklist

Make an Appointment

To make a doctor’s appointment:

  1. Gather needed information, such as your health insurance card (if you have one).
  2. Call your doctor’s office and tell them you want to schedule an appointment. Tell them if you need an interpreter.
  3. Explain why you need to see a doctor.
  4. Write down the name of the doctor you will see plus the date, time, and address of your appointment.

Get Ready for Your Appointment

Prepare ahead of time to help you get the most out of your appointment.

Gather anything you may need.

Bring the following to your appointment:

  • A photo ID (if you have one).
  • Your health insurance card (if you have one).
  • A list of medicines you take (prescription and over the counter). Make sure your list includes how much and how often you take them.
  • A list (names and phone numbers) of any other doctors you see.
  • Paper and a pen to take notes.

Make a list of your questions and concerns.

Write a list of questions for your doctor, including anything that is bothering you. It is easy to forget to ask something during your appointment. This list will help you remember.

Get to the Appointment

Transportation to certain health appointments may be available to you at no cost. Call 211 or visit to schedule your ride.

During Your Appointment

You might not have much time with your doctor or nurse. Tips to make the most of your time include:

  • Be honest. Your doctor or nurse needs information to help you. Be honest about things like:
    • What you eat
    • If you smoke
    • Use drugs
    • Your immigration status
    • Your home life
  • Ask all the questions you wrote down before your appointment.
  • Ask them to explain anything you do not understand.
  • If you do not think they understood you, tell them. Then explain yourself again.
  • If they suggest a medicine or plan that you are not comfortable with, tell them. They may have other options.
  • Take notes about what they say so you do not have to remember everything.

Before you leave, know what you need to do to be healthy. Ask your doctor:

  • What is my main problem? This will help you learn what is happening with your health. You need to know what the problem is before you can make it better.
  • What do I need to do? This will help you do what you need to have better health. Make sure you have a plan and know what you need to do once you leave the doctor’s office.
  • Why is it important for me to do this? When you understand how medicine or a routine change can make you healthier, you are more likely to do it.

After Your Appointment

Once you get home from your appointment:

  • Follow all instructions your doctor or nurse gave you.
  • If you have questions, call your doctor, and ask.
  • If you think a medicine is causing side effects, call your doctor.
  • Attend any follow-up appointments.