Steps to make a doctor’s appointment

Making a doctor’s appointment can be easy if you know what to do and what to expect when you call.  Here are the steps that will make it easy for you to set up an appointment.

  1. Locate a clinic/doctor
  2. Know if you have health insurance
  3. Call the clinic or doctor’s office
  4. Make an appointment time that works for you
  5. Come prepared and bring with you important documents
  6. Come early to your appointment

Click on a section to read more on each step below.

LOCATE a clinic/doctor

  • If you have a clinic or doctor that you usually go, call them to make an appointment. If you need to find a clinic, think about what you need.
  • Do you want a clinic close to you?
  • How would you like to get to the clinic? By bus? By Metro? By Circulator? By Light Rail? By walking?
  • Do you want a place that is free or low cost?
  • Do you need translation services?
  • Do you have specific health needs to be addressed?
  • Do you want to keep this visit private from your parents or guardians?

Use this website’s clinic page to help you find a clinic that meets your needs. Call the clinic and ask them questions to make sure they can help you.

After you find a clinic, take the next steps.

KNOW if you have health insurance

  • If you do not have health insurance, find a clinic that has free or low cost services.
  • If you have insurance, check to see if it will work at the clinic. Not all clinics accept all kinds of insurance.  Ask if they accept your insurance.

CALL the clinic/doctor’s office

  • Things to have ready before you call.
    • Health insurance card, if you have one.
    • Pen and paper so you can take notes.
    • Calendar, so you know your schedule.
  • If no one answers, call back!
  • If you hear a message, follow the steps in the message to talk to a live person or leave a message to get a call back.
  • Some clinics may take 24 hours to call you back.
    • If urgent, find a clinic that will speak or see you the same day.
    • If Spanish is your native language, ask to talk to a Spanish-speaking staff member. Some clinics may not have Spanish-speaking staff.
  • Things to say when making an appointment:
    • “Hi. I would like to make an appointment to see a doctor for [and given them a reason]…
      • …a physical exam.”
      • …a personal issue.”
  • Things to ask
    • What hours they are open?
    • If you have health insurance, do they accept your insurance?
    • If you do not have health insurance, how much will a visit cost?
    • What services are offered?
    • If you need to be seen on the same-day, can they see you? If not urgent, how long will it take to get an appointment?
    • Share if you want to see a female or male doctor.
  • Things to ask if you do not want your parents or guardians to know about the visit
    • Will my parents or guardians see my test results?
    • Is there anything the clinic can do to keep my parents from knowing about this visit?
    • Will my parents or guardians receive a bill for this visit that will tell them what kind of care I received?

MAKE an appointment time that works for you

  • Your parents can help you make an appointment or you can do it yourself.
  • Make sure to pick a time that works for you.

COME PREPARED, bring with you…

  • Your health insurance card, if you have one.
  • A Photo ID.
  • Any questions or concerns you have about your health. Click here for sample questions. You can write these down so you do not forget.
  • Your list of medicines you are taking now (including name of medicine, dose, how often you are taking the medicine). If you do not want to make a list, bring your medication with you.
  • Your vaccine (immunization) records, if you have them. If you do not have these, you can still visit the doctor’s office.

COME EARLY to your appointment

  • Come about 15 minutes before your appointment time. You may need to fill out some paperwork.
  • If you are late, you may lose your appointment. You may need to wait or come back another time.
  • If you need to change your appointment, call to reschedule (It’s best to do so at least 24 hours before your appointment).
  • If you miss your appointment, call to make another one.

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