A general practice is a healthcare setting that is the go-to place for people of all ages for a comprehensive range of primary care services. The doctors who practice at general practice act as the first point of contact for non-emergency health concerns and are called general practitioners.
If you have never been to general practice before, the thought of visiting general practice can be a bit nerve-wracking for you. However, knowing what to expect at general practice and how to prepare for your first general practice visit can help ease any anxiety you might be feeling.
Here is a comprehensive guide to a general practice visit, including what you can expect and how to prepare for it.
Tips to Prepare for Your First General Practice Visit
Before you visit a general practitioner for your appointment, call their office and ask them if they have specific instructions on preparing for the appointment. Also, make sure that you understand the reason for your visit.
To prepare for your first general practice visit:
- Take a journal and write down all the symptoms you have.
- Write down a list of all the medications, herbal drugs, multivitamins, and other supplements you are currently taking or have taken in the past.
- Write down any questions you might want to ask your general practitioner about your medical conditions, symptoms, or preventive care services.
- Know your detailed medical history, including your family history and history of your past illnesses, surgeries, and other procedures.
- Make sure to bring your insurance card, identification card with the picture, and immunization card to your appointment.
- Take some time out to observe your lifestyle habits, and write down any important information about your lifestyle, including the current changes you made in your lifestyle.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothes on your visit if you think your first visit might include a physical exam.
- Come ready for any diagnostic imaging test or lab screening.
- Try to communicate with your general practitioner as clearly as possible.
Things to Expect During Your First General Practice Visit
Typically, a visit to the GP lasts for 10 to 30 minutes, during which you can expect the following:
Comprehensive Health Assessment and Evaluation
When you arrive at your doctor’s office, the staff at the doctor’s office will take your body temperature, blood pressure, blood oxygen level, and pulse. Then, your GP will discuss your past medical conditions and ask about your lifestyle habits and your symptoms. Make sure to inform your doctor about the things that ease and exacerbate your symptoms.
If needed, your GP may also perform a physical exam to assess your problematic area and determine the underlying cause of your problem.
To determine the underlying cause of your medical problem, a general practitioner may order diagnostic tests, such as diagnostic imaging or laboratory tests. These tests will provide your GP with a snapshot of what is causing the problem in your body.
After reaching a diagnosis of your problem, your general practitioner will devise a customized treatment plan which may consist of noninvasive treatments, lifestyle modifications, or minimally invasive treatments. They will discuss the treatment plan with you and take your opinion about treatments very seriously.
It’s pertinent to mention here that if you visit your general practitioner for preventive care, you can expect screening tests, such as mammography, ultrasound, X-rays, DEXA bone scan, and other tests according to your age, medical history, and risk for certain diseases.
Your general practitioner may also advise you to attend your follow-up appointment after a prescribed period of time, during which they will assess the progress of the treatment and make necessary modifications to your treatment plan.
General Practice in the Bronx, NY
At Starling Diagnostics, our general practice has a team of highly trained and skilled internal medicine doctors, family medicine doctors, women’s health specialists, and radiologists who offer a comprehensive range of primary care services to people of all ages. We also use state-of-the-art equipment to provide our patients with the best diagnostic services they deserve.
If you would like to schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our general practitioners or other primary care providers, contact our friendly staff today at (718) 319-1610 or use our online appointment request form.