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Tips for Primary Care Visits


If you need a physical, schedule it separately from any appointments for acute issues. This will allow your provider adequate time during your physical to discuss general health and screening.    

Tips for Your Primary Care Visits

  • 3 Days Before Your Appointment
    • Plan your referrals. Notify our offices several days in advance if you need us to refer you to a specialist. Allow up to 48 hours for that referral to be completed. Be sure to verify that any specialist we refer you to is a participating provider in your insurance plan. If you have managed care insurance, verify that Vanderbilt Primary Care is an approved provider.
  • 2 Days Before Your Appointment
    • Organize your thoughts. Prepare notes about questions or concerns. Write out any changes in your medical history or new medications. Note your immunizations.
    • Verify your insurance coverage. Check with your insurance company to verify your visit will be covered.
    • Sign up for My Health at Vanderbilt.
  • 1 Day Before Your Appointment
    • Notify us of cancellations. If you need to cancel an appointment, please give at least 24 hours’ notice.
  • Day of Your Appointment
    • Arrive early. If you are a new patient or need to update your record, arrive early to complete forms. If you arrive more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, we may need to reschedule.
    • Bring names of specialists you see. To make sure any specialists you see are communicating with your primary care provider, list specialists’ names and phone numbers in your record.
    • Bring a list of your medications. Bring a list of all your current medications and dosages. See more information on medications and refills below.    
    • Bring your co-payment. Your co-payment is due at the time you check in. Your insurance card will show your co-payment amount for an office visit. If you need your co-payment explained, contact your insurance company before your visit.

Tips for Physicals

  • Before You Make an Appointment
    • Verify you need a physical. While we encourage all patients to have annual physicals, check with your primary care provider for their recommendation.    
    • Verify insurance coverage. Check with your insurance company before scheduling a physical. Some do not pay for health screenings.
  • When You Make Your Appointment
    • Tell us what type of physical you need. When making your appointment, please inform us if you are scheduling a sports or insurance physical.
  • 1 Week Before Your Appointment
    • Check insurance for lab work. If you request screening labs, understand it is your responsibility to check with your insurance company about coverage.    
  • 2 Days Before Your Appointment
    • Check about taking medications first. In most cases, you may take your regular medications the morning of your appointment. If you have diabetes, check with your provider about skipping any diabetes medications that morning.    
  • 12 Hours Before Your Appointment
    • Fast if needed. Fast, or avoid foods or beverages with calories, for 12 hours before your appointment if you will receive a cholesterol screening.
  • Day of Your Appointment
    • Bring all required forms to your appointment.
  • After Your Appointment
    • Allow time for lab results. Allow a two-week period to receive your lab or test results. We will contact you by mail, phone or My Health at Vanderbilt when your results are available. More urgent labs will be reported sooner. Please do not call us for lab or test results unless you are instructed otherwise or you have not heard from us within 14 days.

Tips on Medications and Refills

We can refill your medications during a visit. Please allow 24-48 hours for us to call in refills to your pharmacy. Refills requested on a Friday afternoon will not be available until Monday.

On the day of your appointment:

  • Bring a list of all your current medications and dosages.
  • Specify if you need a 90-day prescription for mail orders.

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