Making the most of your doctor’s appointment

Woman explaining her symptoms to her doctor

A few simple steps can help make sure your upcoming appointment is the best it can be.

Be prepared.

Please try to arrive at least 10 minutes earlier than your appointment time. That way registration staff can check you in, verify your insurance information and collect any required co-payment.

Write down any questions or concerns.

Keep and bring an up-to-date medication list, including any over-the-counter medications, supplements and vitamins. AARP provides a simple medication template found here.

Make the right appointment based upon your needs.

Wellness exams: Sometimes called physicals are typically covered at 100% by your insurance. The purpose is to review your overall health and wellness goals. Schedule these appointments each calendar year.

Please note, if your provider recommends lab work, x-rays, other services or if you plan to discuss other medical problems or concerns, notify the scheduler that you will need additional time with your provider. This will be billed separately.

Medication Therapy Management: At this appointment, a pharmacist reviews all of your medications. Together the pharmacist and provider/nurse team make sure you are taking the correct medicines and dosages.

Immunizations: If you’ve seen your provider within the last 3 years, you can schedule appointments with a nurse to receive any recommended immunizations.

Pre-op: If you are scheduled for a surgical procedure, your surgeon will require a pre-op appointment 7-10 days before your surgery date. Your primary care provider will review your procedure and your health to ensure you can endure the scheduled surgery.

Appointments can be made by calling 320.679.1313, 7am–5pm, Monday–Friday, 7am-1pm on Saturdays or by logging into your MyChart account.

During the visit

Note any changes in your family health history to your nurse/provider team. Just focus on changes with your immediate family – parents, siblings and children. These can help your provider predict potential risk factors for future conditions.

Be honest. We understand some things can feel embarrassing or shameful. We are here to help and not judge. Plus, we’ve heard it all, trust us. Lying to your provider can lead to misunderstandings and misdiagnosis. Honesty is the best policy.

Relax. We recognize going to the doctor’s office can be scary and overwhelming. Again, we are here to help. We will do our best to answer your questions and make you feel at ease.

Virtual appointments

Don’t forget to ask about virtual appointments. This type of appointment is a quick and easy way to talk with your doctor without the drive to the clinic.

Forgive us

Lastly, we know sometimes we run late. We apologize in advance. There are times when other patients have more complicated issues than we anticipated. Know that we are all doing our best to meet your health care needs and those of your family, our neighbors and community members.