Communicating with your doctor

Make the most of your doctor visit.

Your primary care physician, or PCP, provides your basic care and coordinates all of your medical treatments. Your PCP has a responsibility to make sure you get needed care and to inform you of treatment options. Your PCP will get to know you and monitor changes in your health. Your PCP will also determine when it is appropriate to refer you to a specialist or other health care services.

Here are some tips to prepare for a first visit.

Even though you may feel nervous during your doctor visit, take the time to tell your PCP all of your concerns. Being prepared will help you discuss your concerns more completely and comfortably.

If you need to change your PCP for any reason, please log into your Sharp Health Plan online account. If you have questions, please call our Customer Care team at 1-855-995-5004 or email

  • When you schedule your appointment, be sure to give the receptionist a list of all issues you want to discuss with the doctor. This will give the office an opportunity to schedule enough time for your visit.
  • If you do not understand something the doctor is telling you, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for an explanation. Repeating things in your own words helps to make sure you understand.
  • If you feel that you need extra support, bring a friend or family member with you.
  • If you're taking medications, bring a list of all the prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs and supplements you take, or bring the medications with you.
  • Take notes on the doctor's medical instructions. Before you leave, make sure you know what to do next.
  • Ask how you can reach your doctor between visits. Be sure to ask when you should have another visit.

"I believe in a strong relationship with each of my patients for quality care."

- Dr. Azam Shamani, Sharp Grossmont Hospital