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Doctor Visits

Office visits are the primary way your doctor can monitor your progress. Your initial visits to a cardiologist help determine if you have heart failure, and if so, the best course of action to take.

Diagnosis of heart failure often involves a chest x-ray, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, and treadmill stress test. Your doctor will want to see exactly how the chambers of your heart function and whether your heart is pumping enough blood to your body. It is a good idea to bring your medical records as well as any medications you are taking to your first visit with a new doctor.

During subsequent visits, your doctor will determine how well your current treatment is working. You should monitor your daily weight and symptoms, and bringing these lists with you. Also bring a list of questions so that you do not feel puzzled or frustrated when you leave. Your doctor visit is your time to have all questions answered and voice any concerns you may have.

10 Steps to Being a Good Patient
  1. Be familiar with your medical history
  2. Keep a list of medications
  3. Jot down specific questions you have
  4. Be as specific as possible about the symptoms and time course
  5. Understand any new medical procedures
  6. Find out what other resources are available
  7. Obtain the results of your tests
  8. Adopt a schedule for routine preventive health care
  9. If necessary, get a second opinion
  10. Trust your instincts

We would like to thank Cynthia Stuenkel, M.D. for her contribution to this portion of the website.