My First Appointment​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors are not permitted at UHN hospitals, and some appointments may take place as a virtual appointment. Please visit our COVID-19 section for up-to-date information before coming to the hospital. The information below may not be accurate at this time. »

Before Your First Appointment

You can do several things to prepare for your first appointment.

Make a list of your medications. It is important for your health care team to know about any medications you are taking. You can make a list of the medications you are taking or bring in the medications in their original packaging.


  • Prescription drugs (your pharmacist can give you a list of the ones you are taking or have taken recently)
  • Any over-the-counter drugs you take, such as cold medication or pain relievers
  • Vitamin or mineral supplements
  • Herbal and natural health products, including naturopathic and homeopathic remedies

For each type of medication, you need to know:

  • Its name
  • The reason you take it
  • How much (the dose) you take
  • How often you take it
  • How long you've been taking it

Gather your medical information from your doctor. Your family physician or other referring doctor may give you a package that includes a CD or DVD of your medical images (x-rays, CT scans, MRIs or ultrasounds). If you have this package, it is very important to bring this CD or DVD with you to your first appointment.

It is also important to collect from your doctor any information about your medical history that could be important. This includes information about previous operations, heart attacks, strokes and allergies. If you're not sure, ask your doctor what kind of details you should gather and bring with you.

Know where to go. Review directions to the hospital to feel confident about your trip before you leave for your appointment. You can find this information in Maps & Directions.

Each of our hospitals has an Information Desk. The staff at the info desk will be happy to show you where you need to go.

Think about what questions to ask. Some people want to learn a great deal about their condition but others are more comfortable knowing only what they have to know. Make a list of questions you want to ask so that you can get a good picture of your situation without being overwhelmed. 

The Day of Your First Appointment

To make your first appointment as easy as possible, do the following:

  • Arrive on time to register. Bring your health card (OHIP card). If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID (such as a driver's license, passport or other provincial health card).
  • Bring the medical information package from your doctor if you were given one.
  • Bring identification and your medication.

Unless you have been told otherwise, you are allowed to eat before your appointment.

What to Expect During Your First Clinic Visit

Your first visit to the hospital will be a consultation. Your doctor will examine you and decide on the best way to treat you. You may wish to wear comfortable clothing that is easy to change into and out of.

It is unusual to receive treatment during your first visit, but it sometimes happens. If your doctor recommends that you have treatment on your first visit, he or she will discuss this with you during your appointment.

At UHN, you will be cared for by a team of health professionals, not just one doctor. The number and type of professionals on your health care team depends on your individual circumstances.

Each clinic at UHN is different, and may have its own specific instructions for your visit. Find your clinic here to learn more about what you can expect.

How Long It Will Take

Your visit could last several hours. Some things that can affect the length of your visit are the types of testing that need to be done and how many members of your health care team you meet.

Getting the Most Out of Your Appointment

There are lots of things you can do to get the most out of your appointment:

  • Communicate. Tell your health care team about any concerns you have and ask questions if you want to know more.
  • Bring support. A friend or family member can give you emotional support and can help you make good choices. They can also help you gather information, take notes and ask questions.
  • Listen. You will hear lots of new information. Taking notes can help you absorb and understand what you hear.
  • Take names. Writing down the names of the members of your health care team can help you get to know and recognize the people you will be working with.
  • Try to be on time. Running late can be stressful, so make sure you leave yourself lots of time to get to your appointment.

A Teaching Hospital

The hospitals of the University Health Network are teaching hospitals. Each year, thousands of people come to learn and work at UHN. This means that medical students, residents or fellows may be present during your meetings with team members. Likewise, your team may include nurses, researchers, pharmacists, social workers and other health care professionals who are gaining practical experience at UHN. These health care professional trainees work under the guidance and supervision of qualified doctors and teachers. Your doctor or other member of your health care team will tell you when a health care professional trainee will be present and participating in your care. You will be given information about the procedures a health care professional trainee will participate in and be asked for your consent.

If you are not comfortable giving your consent, you can just tell your doctor or a member of your health care team. This will not affect your care and treatment at UHN.

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