Questions to Ask Your Neurologist at Your First Appointment

By: Mathew Pulicken, MD

June 27, 2023

A doctor sits listening to patient

When it comes to your neurological health, seeking the expertise of a specialist is crucial. The Renown Institute for Neurosciences provides comprehensive care for complex diseases affecting brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves.

Let us help guide you through the appointment process to ensure a productive and informative first appointment.

What to Expect at Your First Appointment at the Renown Institute for Neurosciences

Duration and Purpose: Your first appointment will last approximately one hour. This time allows the doctor to ask specific questions, do a thorough neurological exam and discuss your concerns.

Specialized Care: You will be matched with a provider who specializes in assessing and treating your specific ailment or condition. This tailored approach ensures that you receive care from an expert who has the specialized interest and expertise to address your needs effectively.

Initial Assessment: During your visit, you will first see a medical assistant who reviews your medication history and standard screening questions provided by your doctor. Following this portion of your appointment, the neurologist will ask specific and detailed questions about your condition and conduct a non-invasive neurological examination to evaluate your brain and nervous system functioning. This exam involves painless tests assessing your cognitive function and nerve operation, including tests for sensation, strength and coordination.

Treatment: After performing the neurological exam and addressing your questions, the neurologist will review the possible diagnosis and treatment plan, including any medication needs to help with your condition. Finally, your doctor may discuss the role of additional testing, including imaging studies (CT/MRIs), peripheral nerve testing (EMG) or brain wave testing (EEG), which will be scheduled for a later date.

Making the Most of Your Visit

To make your appointment as beneficial as possible, consider the following tips:

  • Arrive Early: Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early to fill out any necessary check-in items before your appointment's scheduled start time. This will ensure a smooth and timely visit.
  • Bring Insurance Information: Have your insurance details readily available to facilitate the administrative process. This will help avoid any delays or confusion.
  • Gather Medical Records: If you have received treatment or undergone tests with other healthcare providers relevant to your condition, bring along any medical records or test results. This information will assist your neurologist in gaining a comprehensive understanding of your medical history.
  • Prepare Questions and Concerns: Consider noting the following, which can help you better answer questions the neurologist may ask during your appointment.
    • The frequency, duration and severity of your symptoms.
    • Share information about any medications or treatments you have tried for the condition and the outcomes.
    • Prioritize questions to help the neurologist answer your most significant concerns during the initial visit.

Your first appointment with a doctor at the Renown Institute for Neurosciences is an opportunity to receive expert care and gain insights into the best method of treatment for your condition. By understanding what to expect and following the tips provided, you can maximize your visit and be on your way to achieving overall health and wellness.

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