Is This Your First Doctors Office Visit? Here's What To Bring

Posted on: 30 December 2019

It's your first appointment with a new provider. What should you bring to the doctors' office? Before you arrive, take a look at the top documents you'll need for this visit.

Health Insurance Cards

Don't assume the office staff can use your insurance group or policy number to access your information. Many medical providers require a hard copy of the card before service — especially if this is your first visit to the office.

If you have a primary and secondary insurance carrier, bring both cards. Not only will the cards provide proof of insurance, but they may also tell the office staff if you have a copay and how much to charge. This allows you to pay what you owe upfront, instead of waiting for a bill.

Picture Identification

Along with your insurance card, some providers ask to see a valid form of ID. The name on your ID should match the name on the insurance card and any other documents you bring to the visit. If you don't have a current, valid driver's license, ask the office staff what other forms of identification are acceptable. These may include a state-issued ID card or a passport.

Medication List

The doctor will need to know what medications you currently take. If you're on several medications and aren't sure if you'll remember the entire list, write it down or save it to your phone. Include both prescription and over the counter medications you take regularly as well as dietary supplements and vitamins.

Medical History

Like medications, your full health history isn't always easy to remember. Before your doctor office visit, write down:

  • Your family history. Include your parents', grandparents', and siblings' chronic conditions, illnesses, and other health-related information Ask the office staff how much detail you need to provide.
  • Your past surgeries. Include the type of surgery, date, and outcome.
  • Your pregnancies. If you're a woman, include all past pregnancies and deliveries.
  • Your chronic conditions. If you have chronic conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, include each issue in your medical history.
  • Your vaccinations. The doctor may need the dates and types of all of the immunizations you've already had. If you've had an illness instead of the vaccine (such as chickenpox), include this information too.
  • Your recent tests. If you've had recent diagnostic testing, bring the results.

Many doctors' offices will provide you with a pre-visit questionnaire. This may provide space for your medical history or include yes/no questions about your health — both past and present. Along with your medical history, your medication list, ID, and insurance card can make the first visit go smoothly and save you valuable appointment time.