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Ask the Expert - Can I bring friends/family to my appointment?

by Dr. Louis Bartoletti, MD

Q. Is it alright to bring a close friend or family member to my doctor’s appointment?


A. Bringing a family member or friend can improve the quality of your healthcare visits. Medical information can be confusing. A companion could ask clarifying questions that you might overlook until after the appointment. Emotional support is very important and a companion can ensure that you don’t feel alone. Whether you’re receiving news that is good, disappointing, or both, important healthcare information can be an emotional experience. A companion can help you keep track of critical issues, either by taking notes or recording the meeting. You may be asked to sign a HIPAA release for your companion.


Before an appointment, a companion can also help you make lists of issues to discuss and changes in your health or life circumstances. It is essential to bring a current list of your medicines, vitamins, herbal remedies, OTC drugs and dietary supplements to every appointment with your healthcare provider. 


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