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Be Involved in Your Health Care

Be involved in your health care. There are many ways to take an active role. Work with your health care team to meet your health goals and accomplish what matters most to you.


What's Important to Know?

Playing an active role in your health care is key to meeting your health goals. To get the most out of your visit, plan the questions you want to ask and the things you want to discuss. When you leave your visit, know what actions to take to best manage your health. Here are some specific ways to be more involved:

Before your visit:

  • Write down your health goals, needs, questions, and concerns.
  • Make a list of all the medicines you take, including vitamins and supplements.
  • Get additional information from the Veterans Health Library and My HealtheVet.

During your visit:

  • Tell your team about your health goals, needs, and treatment preferences.
  • Share any health questions and concerns with your team at the beginning of your visit.
  • Tell your team about your past illnesses, hospital stays, surgeries, and any other health issues you may be experiencing.
  • Share your list of medicines and why you take them. Ask for written instructions to take home with you for any current or new medicines.
  • Work together with your team to create a treatment plan that meets your health goals, needs, and preferences, and that addresses what matters most to you.
image: Man consulting with his doctor

  • Take notes about what you and your health care team discuss and decide. Bring a family member or friend to help.
  • Ask about next steps in your health care plan, such as additional appointments and treatments or how you will access test results.
  • Share steps that you plan to take reach your health goals. If you are unsure, ask your team for help in identifying specific actions you might take to follow through with your plan.
  • Ask your team any other questions you have at the end of your visit. Speak up if you have concerns or think something is wrong.

After your visit:

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Want to Know More?

If you want to learn more about how to be involved in your health care, talk with your VA health care team. They can help you make changes to live healthier and meet your goals.

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