We understand visiting a cardiologist for the first time may seem intimidating and even a little overwhelming, but detecting a problem and taking early steps to treat it greatly increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life. We suggest that you make a few simple preparations beforehand so you can take full advantage of your visit.
What to Expect:
Your first new patient cardiology appointment will generally last 45 minutes to an hour. A nurse practitioner might be involved in your initial visit along with the doctor. A medical assistant will log your height, weight, blood pressure, current medications and preferred pharmacy information. An EKG will also be administered by a medical assistant prior to you seeing the doctor. The doctor will inquire about your medical history and more specifically about any current symptoms or cardiac-related condition(s). A physical examination will also be performed. The doctor may recommend preventative management or diagnostic testing to collect further cardiac-related information. Medications may be prescribed for you on this initial visit and/or we will provide your primary care doctor with recommendations. In some cases, you may be referred to a cardiovascular surgeon or other specialist for treatment. Upon completion of your appointment, you will check out with our front desk receptionist who will schedule or arrange for any follow-up appointments, if required.
What to Bring:
Some information is key for any cardiology appointment, and you should be prepared to take notes. You may want to bring a folder with you that includes any outside records you may be requested to bring. Also, this will provide a mechanism to store any information provided to you by the doctor at your visit and any notes you may take. Information to have on hand includes:
- Completed Patient Registration Form and Health and Clinical History Form.
- Your insurance cards and photo I.D. We’ll make a copy of your primary and, if applicable, your secondary insurance card(s) and a photo I.D. for our records.
- Your co-payment or co-insurance. We will collect this prior to your visit, if applicable.
- A list of your medicines, or the medications themselves. If it is convenient for you to bring all medications in a sealable bag, please do so. Be sure to include any vitamins and supplements.
- Your questions. If you have an idea why you’re seeing a cardiologist, do some research to learn about it. Write down specific questions or concerns that you would like your doctor to address at this first visit.
- Family members or friends are always welcome.
You will be asked to provide the following on the Health and Clinical History Form:
- A list of your medicines, or the medications themselves. Your pharmacy or primary health care provider can provide this information to you if you are unsure or do not have it.
- Family medical history. Your family medical history is very important, so please be thorough when providing this information to us, especially including details or instances of high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure among your close relatives.
- Your own medical history. List your past (or upcoming) surgeries, along with any medical procedures, including diagnostic work-ups such as MRIs, lab reports, or any previous cardiac related testing.
- A list of all your health care providers. Start with your primary care doctor or family doctor and then include any treating or referring specialist(s). Note: If you are being seen for cardiac clearance for an upcoming surgery, please provide this information to our office so we can ensure a report is sent to the appropriate doctor, i.e., surgeon for continuity of care.
We thank you for choosing us to be a member of your care team. We want you to take full advantage of your time with the doctor and develop a good personal connection. Trust is the cornerstone for any doctor-patient relationship and we strive to build and maintain that trust. Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any follow-up questions or concerns.