For Black Men

After Your Appointment: How to Be Your Own Best Caregiver


Your healthcare provider is an important partner, but you know your body, and your concerns about your health, better than anyone. That means you have the keys to a healthier life. Here are some tips on how you can give yourself that life—and the care you deserve—after you leave your provider’s office.

Review your visit

Having a strong partnership with your provider is important. Did you get what you needed during your visit? If not, ask yourself how your next appointment could be better—and share that information with your provider. Good providers want to know how to support you—and they need your feedback to do that. If you’re still not comfortable with the outcome of your visit, don’t be afraid to find a new doctor. Check out our Provider Directory to see if we have one in your area.

Unsure about something? Contact your provider

Don’t be afraid to call back and ask follow-up questions. Most healthcare providers chose their work because they want to help others—so let them do their jobs and give you the information you need to take care of yourself.

Follow your provider’s instructions

You’ll get the best results from new meds or treatments if you follow the directions. You need to be an active player in your healthcare, but don’t be tempted to “play doctor” on yourself. Don’t be afraid to push back and ask questions if the routine prescribed doesn't match your lifestyle or if you aren't emotionally ready.

Educate and inspire your friends

Telling your friends about your healthcare experiences gives you a great opportunity to influence people you care about. Hearing your healthcare “story” might be just the encouragement your friends need to start taking better care of themselves and play a more active role in their own health too!

Establish a personal support system

It’s good for your health to hang out with people who accept and value the “real” you. Surround yourself with the folks who uplift and champion you.

Find some virtual buddies

Technology makes it easy to connect with like-minded people—and it doesn't matter where they live. Online communities (such as private Facebook groups, Twitter, and online blogs) can be great resources for support and tips.

Have your own back

Need help staying motivated? Setting personal goals and affirmations for yourself can help you stay on track to good health. When you slip up or slack off, don’t quit trying—just think about your goals and challenge yourself to do better next time.