How to prepare for your first appointment?        

An informed and proactive patient should consider these two things when preparing for their  first appointment with a rheumatologist:

1 - What should the patient take to the first appointment?
a.       Bring your medical insurance card(s), Pharmacy Card and a photo I.D., to your 1st appointment; also please fill out

b.       Make a list of medicines, herbs, and supplements you are taking: (and/or bring all bottles with you)
    include the name of the drug/herb/supplement, the dosage and schedule. (Example of the Medication List)

c.       Make a list of the other doctors and/or specialists involved in your health care –
    i.e. internal medicine doctor, lung/heart/kidney/stomach specialist

d.       If you have prior blood test, x-rays, CAT scan, MRI's or bone density tests that are related to your current condition,
    bring them with you

e.        Be able to describe your current symptoms, the date of onset and factors that improve or worsen your symptoms; If you require
a translator for your visit, please make arrangements in advance for a family member, friend or contact your insurance provider to see if
translator services are provided

2 - What questions will the rheumatologist ask?
a.        Where does it hurt?
b.        When did you begin to feel the pain?
c.        Describe the character of the pain. Is the pain dull,  sharp, or crampy?
d.        How long does the pain typically last? What makes the pain better or worse?
e.        Do you have swelling or redness of any joints?  If so, which joints?
f.         Do your symptoms affect your ability to perform any daily tasks? If so, what tasks?
g.        Have you injured the affected joint(s) in an accident, or recently overused the joint(s)?
h.        Do any family members have the same or similar problem?

The combination of your medical history, physical examination and diagnostic tests
will help the rheumatologist diagnose and treat your condition.

Tips: Make The Most of Your Doctor’s Appointments
Does your doctor never seem to have the time to listen to all of your concerns? Do you remember the questions you meant to ask the doctor when you get
home? Do you have trouble remembering all the things your doctor told you during your visit? Well, you are NOT alone. As patients live longer and more
productive lives, the delivery of medical care has become more complicated for various reasons, but don’t fret, there are some simple things you can do to
make the most of your doctor’s appointments.

1) Write down your questions on a piece of paper and bring it with you to discuss at your next appointment, even the ones you forgot to ask the last time.
Prioritize your questions in case there is not enough time to discuss them all at your next visit.

2) Educate yourself ahead of time about your medical conditions for which you are seeing the doctor.
You can find information on our website at or at
If you have general medical questions, you can go to: or

3) Bring all of your medications in their official labeled bottles, including eye drops, inhalers, ointments, vitamins, supplements and herbs. Although not as
informative, a list of your medications is better than nothing. You can find a
medication list to fill in on our website.

4) If English is not your first language, or you prefer to communicate in your native language, please check with your insurance plan to see if they provide for
interpreter services. If you have
Alameda Alliance, you can call (510) 747 4567 to request that an interpreter come with you to your doctor’s appointment. A non-
family interpreter is preferable as they are more familiar with medical terminology and will respect your privacy.

5) If you have a chronic medical condition, keep a journal of your symptoms, problems and concerns. Bring your journal to your appointments so that you
can share your concerns and personal health goals.

6) Don’t be afraid to ask questions and bring a piece of paper and a writing utensil with you so that you can take notes at your appointment.
HomeProvidersServicesPatient InfoContact Us
Make The Most of Your
Doctor’s Appointments
New Patient Packet (download, print, & bring these forms to your New Patient appointment), also please arrive 15 mins early
Note: Effective 2014, we require a credit card on file to reserve your New Patient 45 minutes appointment slot. Your credit card will only be charged for $100 IF you
cancel the appointment less than
48 business hours notice or no-show for the appointment!
For those who has a high deductible health plan: if your deductible has not been met, please also bring $300 as a Deposit to cover your deductible on the day you are
been seen.
Fremont Rheumatology
Arthritis, Osteoporosis, and Auto-Immune Diseases
Barry Shibuya M.D.  and  Christine Elias M.D.
Form: Patient requesting their own PHI
(Protected Health Information) or
Medical Records
(1page PDF)
Note: If we send medical records to another
provider, we don't charge!