Is this the first time you have visited a podiatrist? Well, don’t worry. This handy guide will prepare you for your appointment and help make the most of your time with the foot and ankle expert.
Before Your Visit:
- Make a list of your symptoms and questions.
- Make a list of all medications and any previous surgeries.
- Gather and bring important medical records and laboratory test reports from other doctors or hospitals (including X-rays, MRIs, and lab results).
- Check with your insurance provider to see if a referral is needed.
- Call before your visit to tell the office if you have special needs.
- Bring a friend or family member if you think it will be helpful.
- If your problem involves walking and/or exercise, bring your walking/exercise shoes with you to the appointment.
Preparing For a Virtual Visit:
- Before your appointment, make sure you are familiar with what system will be used and have tested to make sure it is compatible with your device. Install any necessary apps or other software. Make sure your camera and microphone are turned on. Make sure you are familiar with your camera functionality, including how to flip between the front and back cameras if applicable.
- Log in for your appointment at least 15 minutes early to have time to troubleshoot any potential issues so that way you can spend your scheduled appointment time talking to your physician.
- Sit in a well-lit area. Avoid being backlit, as this lighting makes seeing your face very difficult. The area should have the best internet/phone reception so that the connection is the clearest. Otherwise the audio/visual feed can be disrupted, making continued conversation difficult.
- If the patient portal is set up for messages with attached photos, please take a clear photo of your foot that can be sent prior to the call or video visit. Or, ask for an appropriate email address to send your images ahead of time. The clarity of a JPEG is typically better than video, which can be quite grainy. If taking a photo, make sure it is well lit and avoid zooming in too much. Additionally, put a coin in the picture to provide a size reference.
- If you have difficulty with technology and you have a caregiver available who might be able to help you, please have them nearby to assist with the call.
- Remove noise distractions if possible, including other family members or roommates and animals, but also things like washing machines, television, or music. If you are on a device where you can use headphones, consider using them.
- Have examples of your typical shoes nearby so that you can show your provider the types of shoes you have been wearing. If you use inserts or orthotics, have those with you as well so they can be “reviewed” during the video call.
- If possible, have someone else hold the camera to help show your foot in a more natural position.
- If a gait exam is needed, find a hallway to walk down as the camera is propped on the floor at the other end or held by someone else.
During Your Visit:
- Go over your list of questions.
- If you do not understand an answer, be sure to ask for further explanation.
- Take notes and listen carefully.
- Discuss your symptoms and any recent changes you may have noticed.
- Talk about all new medications.
- Ask why it has been prescribed, and how to take it.
- Describe any allergies.
- Tell your podiatrist if you are pregnant or if you are trying to get pregnant.
- Let your podiatrist know if you are being treated by other doctors.
After Your Visit:
- Prepare for any tests your podiatrist orders.
- Ask about what you need to do to get ready, possible side effects, and when you can expect results.
- Ask when and how the test results will be made available to you.
- Schedule a follow-up appointment (if necessary) before you leave your podiatrist’s office.
- Call your podiatrist’s office and ask for your test results if you do not hear from the office when you are supposed t