Most people with Parkinson’s are advised to see their doctor every three to six months; especially if they are taking anti-Parkinson’s medications. If a person is experiencing problems with his or her condition or its treatment, more frequent visits may be warranted.
Below is a helpful checklist and tools for making the most of your medical appointment. If possible, see a Movement Disorder Specialist (MDS) for your Parkinson’s care. An MDS is a neurologist who has specialized in the area of movement disorders by completing a “fellowship” – typically a two year commitment in movement disorders.
Before Your Appointment: Get Organized
- Bring a list of all current medications to your appointment. Include pill strengths and times you taken them.
- Make a list of concerns you’d like to go over with your medical team. Prioritize your concerns, as there may not be enough time to discuss everything during one visit.
- If possible, bring someone with you. It’s helpful to have someone else hear and understand the information. Ask them to record answers to your questions and concerns.
- If you are seeing a physician, do you need to see a member of the rehab team on the same day?
Your Appointment: What to Bring
- If you’d like a letter from the visit to go to your primary doctor, be sure to bring their first/last name, the name of your primary doctors office or clinic, and their mailing address.
- Bring your insurance card and ID for the check-in process.
- Note any important things for your team to know since your last visit, such as surgeries, hospital stays, changes in health, or changes in your living situation.
Before you leave…
Be sure you fully understand the established treatment plan, including medication changes. If new medication has been added, be sure you know what the medication is supposed to do, how much to take and when, potential side effects and what to do if they occur. If you don’t understand, ask! Questions are always welcome.
Make any necessary follow-up appointments before you leave the clinic, and be sure to note the day and time of future appointments.