What should you bring to your first visit?
It takes time to get all your information together:
- Be sure to bring your insurance card, a referral number if needed, results from all blood and urine tests performed by your primary care doctor, and copies of any imaging studies.
- Prepare a list of all medications, doses, supplements, and herbs that you regularly take to give to the urologist.
- Bring detailed notes of your symptoms, trying to recall when your symptoms began. For example, if you are in pain, describe as accurately as you can where it hurts.
- If relevant, bring a diary of your daily beverage and food intake. Some people are sensitive to certain types of food. For example, many people with interstitial cystitis learn that they cannot tolerate certain food. This will be very helpful in helping to plan out a plan of care for you.
What questions to ask?After you are examined in the office, usually, you will sit down with your urologist. Some points to discuss:
- Does the doctor have a diagnosis?
- Do you need any further referrals before making a diagnosis?
- What treatment options are available?
- Can your urologist describe a long-range treatment strategy?
- Can your urologist tell you what your outlook might be?
- Is your current mix of medications (including alternative medicines) acceptable, given your symptoms and condition?
If surgery is on the horizon, make note of questions to ask your urologist before you finish the appointment:
Do you have confidence in your urologist's professional opinion?:
- Do you understand what a urologist is?
- What conditions does a urologist treat?
- Is your urologist board certified in the area relevant to your needs?
After your visit
Think for a minute: What was your gut impression of the urologist? Did you like the way the urologist interacted with you? Did the urologist seem knowledgeable?
If you have a serious problem, do you want to get a second opinion? You should be thinking about working with a urologist who you intuitively trust and someone who understands and respects you. Does this urologist fit the bill?