Preparing for Your Internal Medicine Visit
- Make a list of questions beforehand that you want to ask. It's easy to forget that "one important question."
- Bring a list of all medications you are currently taking. Include all over-the-counter drugs like vitamins and aspirin.
- A family member or caregiver is always welcome to accompany you. Remember, however, that your physician may ask highly personal questions regarding your health history.
- Check with your insurance company to determine if a co-payment is required. If so, please be prepared to pay your co-payment at the time you register for your visit.
- Arrive well ahead of time so you can relax.
When you arrive, please check-in at the front desk. Here, we will update your medical record information (like changes in address, phone number or insurance carrier), accept your co-payment (if you have one) and then speed you on your way to your appointment.
Front Desk areas are located on Level 1 in the Buck Pavilion, and on Level 2 in the Lindeman Pavilion at the Hospital & Seattle Medical Center. Front desks are located in the lobbies at our other medical centers.
During Your Internal Medicine Visit
When you come to see your provider, we want to make sure that everything goes smoothly for you.
You'll be seen right away, that's our goal. If you wait more than 15 minutes beyond your appointment time, please let the receptionist know.
While the purpose of appointments may vary, some things should always remain constant. Here's what to expect when you arrive:
- If you are a first-time patient, you will be asked to complete a patient information questionnaire.
- Once you’re in the privacy of an exam room, the office assistant may ask you put on a hospital gown.
- Your provider will ask you to talk about your reason for coming, to ensure your expectations for the appointment are met.
- You will be asked about your medical history, including previous illnesses, the severity of the symptoms, family members with similar conditions, your health habits (including alcohol and cigarette use), your diet and other questions.
- Your provider may recommend tests. When a test is suggested, your provider will tell you what he or she hopes to learn from it, how long it will take for the test to be conducted and how you will be told about the results. Ask for the latest edition of Passport to Good Health, which gives you information about current recommendations for health screening tests.
- Your provider may make a diagnosis during the exam, telling you what you have, what causes it and what treatment options are available to you.
- If the services of a specialist are needed, your provider will make arrangements for you.
- If follow-up appointments are needed, your health care provider will make sure that you are seen in a timely way.