One of the most daunting tasks that falls on your shoulders as soon as you reach the ripe old age of however-old-you-are-when-your-parents-stop-helping-you-with-everything is scheduling your first (and second and third and-) doctors appointment on your own. From committing to being somewhere at a certain time to figuring out what you're even supposed to say, it's difficult all around. While I don't have an unending supply of knowledge in this area, I'll happily share what I do know - and hopefully make you feel a little less alone on your journey to being an official "adult".
Where To Start
The answer to this question varies. The first step is to ask yourself a few simple questions:
Scheduling your Appointment
Start by tracking down the phone number for the location you want to visit (not the doctor. the location). When your call is answered be ready with the first and last name of the physician you want to see. You will be transferred. Don't worry. That doesn't mean that you suck at calling the right people. You're fine.
Once the office of your doctor picks up you'll be expected to have the answers to a few questions: What is your name? Your age? What insurance do you have? What are you going in for? And lastly; when would you like to come in?
Prepare for these questions before-hand so that you're not caught off guard. Make a list of dates and time ranges that work for you. Have your insurance card in front of you. This helps avoid any unnecessary stress while on an already stressful phone call.
Once you've selected the date and time write it down immediately. Put in on your whiteboard in your room. Put it on your calendar. Create a couple reminders; a few days before, a day before, two hours before, etc.. There's nothing worse than forgetting you have a doctors appointment. Especially since most doctors charge you for the visit whether you show up or not. Make sure you show up.
What to Bring
The most important things to have with you are fairly straightforward: A valid ID, your insurance card, a payment method (if your plan requires you pay your copay upfront), and a knowledge of family history. That last one can be a little harder so take a moment to contact your smartest parent to find out if there are any family conditions or medication allergies you should know about. The office and doctor will both ask. Be ready.
Once you've done all of that you're in. The doctor will take over for you and it's out of your hands.
Congrats! You survived your first real adult doctor visit!