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Your smart checkup checklist

Check out this list for making the most of your next doctor visit

We scribble them on scraps of paper — or store them in our smartphones. Grab a gallon of milk. Gas up the car. Get stamps.

Where would we be without our lists?

Now here’s a handy to-do list to help you make the most of the time you have with your doctor. And you can use it again and again.

5 to-dos for smarter checkups

Check that my doctor — or any new provider — is in my network.

Do this before you receive care to help manage your out-of-pocket costs. Also check what services are covered by your benefit plan before you and your doctor decide on treatments.

Make a list of all my medicines — both prescriptions and any over-the-counter products, including vitamins, herbals and supplements.

Bring your list whenever you see your doctor or pharmacist. You’ll reduce the risk of unsafe drug interactions. If you see more than one doctor, make sure they all have the list.

Jot down any questions, symptoms or concerns I have before my doctor visit.

Flag the most important questions to ask first — in case you run out of time at your visit. During your visit, if you don’t understand something, ask your doctor to explain it more clearly.

Ask my doctor what preventive care I need.

Your doctor can recommend checkups, vaccines, screening tests and new habits that can help you stay healthy. And most preventive care is covered at no additional cost to you when you see a provider in your network.*

Move all my prescriptions to one pharmacy.

This is another way to avoid medication safety problems. For example, your primary pharmacy can check for any duplications or risky drug interactions.

What to do next

Get a printable versionOpens a new window of this list — and see more options for doctor visit checklists.

Watch out for health scams

Does a treatment or program promise a “miracle cure” or quick fix? Those are red flags. Before trying an alternative product or therapy, check with your doctor. 

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