Getting the Most from Your Visit with Your Healthcare Team

EmPower’s focus on thyroid awareness in this issue serves as a good reminder about the importance of self-management and regular health care visits.

If you have a chronic disease such as thyroid disease or diabetes — or if you care for someone with a chronic disease — the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has valuable information to help make visits with your health care team productive.

A great place to start is the NDEP’s Diabetes HealthSense video series, available at or The NDEP’s “Getting Ready for Your Diabetes Care Visit” video featuring James R. Gavin III, M.D., Ph.D. shares the following tips to help you have a useful visit with your health care team:

  • Come prepared for the visit by bringing a list of any recent health problems you have had or any health issues you have questions about.
  • Provide a list of all your medications — including vitamins, dietary supplements and non-prescription medications — and how often you take them.
  • Talk to your health care team about the best ways to manage your disease.
  • Make sure to talk to your health care team about all of your health-related concerns so they can help you.

Another resource to help guide the visit with your health care team is the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation’s “I Wish I Had Asked That!” tip sheet. You can use the information in this tip sheet to help remind you of things to consider and ask during your visit with your health care team. This resource is available at uploads/2012/12/Patient_Visit_Guide.pdf. Following these tips can make your time with your health care team more useful and productive.

For more information from the National Diabetes Education Program, please visit

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.