Your HealthCare Provider may be a doctor, a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant, or part of a larger healthcare team.  Your provider may be a primary care provider or a specialist. Whichever the case, the amount of time you receive during an appointment with your provider may vary and is often limited.  Thus, it is important to be prepared for your visit, so you get the most out of time you have with your provider.

Things you Can do to Help Prepare for a Visit to your HealthCare Provider

  • Use a Pain Diary between each visit with your provider or healthcare team to document the following characteristics of your pain daily:
    • Location(s)
    • Onset (when it started)
    • Frequency (how often)
    • Intensity (rating of pain in the location identified)
    • Duration (how long the pain lasted)
    • Pattern (progress of the pain over time, does it change?)
    • Quality (description of the pain)
  • Have a specific place where you record information, so that you remember them when you are preparing for your visit.
  • Complete a "Preparing for a Visit with my HealthCare Provider" Tool to document questions and information you want to share with your provider at your next visit. Gather any notes you prepared leading up to this appointment and add that information to your “Preparing for a Visit with my HealthCare Provider” Tool if you are still interested in discussing this information with your provider.
  • Plan to take an updated list of your medications (including name of medication, dosage, why you are taking the medication, etc.) to each medical appointment.
  • Consider inviting a caregiver, trusted family member or friend to go with you to your next visit to serve as an extra set of eyes and ears and someone who can take notes during the appointment to ensure you have all the important information in writing following the visit.

PDF iconCommunicating with Your HealthCare Team about Your Pain - PDF Version