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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Getting the most out of your appointment

Published in Family Medicine Author: George Morris, MD

Have you ever left a doctor appointment disappointed that you forgot to ask an important question or feeling confused about the diagnosis or medicine prescribed? With a little preparation you can get the most out of your appointment.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Prepare for your office visit by defining your goals, organizing your symptoms and making a list of questions.


  • What is wrong?
  • What causes it?
  • How serious is it?
  • Am I contagious?
  • How will it affect me in the future?

Doctor's Orders

  • What activities do I need to avoid?
  • Do I need a follow-up visit?
  • When should I call if I’m not better?
  • Should I watch for anything special?


  • Can you give me information about the medicine?
  • What is the medicine for?
  • How should I take it and for how long?
  • What side effects are likely? What do I do if they occur?
  • Is this medication safe to take with other medicine or dietary supplements?
  • What food, drink or activities should I avoid while taking this medicine?


  • Why do I need this test?
  • What can I expect during the test?
  • How reliable is the test?
  • What if I don’t have the test?
  • How much will the test cost? Will insurance cover it?
  • How and when will I get the results?

Appointment Tips

Before Your Appointment

  • Write down any questions.
  • Arrive early for your appointment.
  • Bring a list of your signs and symptoms.
  • Bring your health history.
  • Always bring a list of current medications, including dosages and allergies.
  • Tell your doctor about any herbal or other alternative medicines or treatments used.

During Your Appointment

  • Ask questions, especially if you don't understand what your doctor has told you.
  • If you feel the need, bring someone who can help you ask questions and help you understand and remember answers later.
  • Ask your doctor to draw pictures to help explain something.
  • Take notes.
  • Tell your doctor if you feel you need more time to make a decision on your care.

After Your Appointment

  • Call if you have questions or log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.
  • Call if your symptoms get worse or if you have problems with medication.
  • If you had tests and haven't heard within a week, call for your results.
  • Make any appointments suggested by your doctor, for example lab, X-ray or referral to a specialist.