Help your GP help you.
Be prepared before your appointment:
- Write out any medications you’re taking, including vitamins or herbal remedies
- Make brief notes of any symptoms including when they appear and when they are alleviated/aggravated
- Inform your doctor of any allergies
- Clarify with your doctor’s office how you will be informed of important test results (don’t assume “no news is good news”)
- Follow up if you haven’t heard about referral appointments or lab results.
- Allow time to check in at your appointment
- Avoid peeing beforehand (a urine sample may be required).
Your GP may not know if you’ve seen someone else. It’s important they know your complete health history and maintain your record accurately. If you were not referred by your GP to the other health provider, be sure to discuss any treatment you receive from:
- Walk-in clinics
- Emergency departments
- Public health clinics
- Home and community care
- Laboratories and diagnostic imaging
Tell your GP if you’ve done any investigations or treatments before they prescribe anything.
If you see another specialist or allied health professional (e.g. physiotherapist) let them know who your GP is, ask that they contact your doctor for your pertinent medical history, and ask that copies of the records from your visit be sent to your GP’s office.
If you are admitted to hospital:
- Tell the doctor treating you who your GP is
- Ask for your GP to be informed of and consulted for any pertinent medical history
- Ask that your discharge summary be sent to your GP
- Tell your GP’s office assistant you have just been discharged from the hospital and make a plan to review your post-hospital care with your family doctor within 72 hours.
By informing your GP when you’re admitted to hospital, you enable him or her to share medical information with the attending physician at the hospital and avoid any unnecessary tests, procedures, or medications.