Going to the Doctor? The Questions You Should Ask

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Going to the doctor, whether for a yearly checkup or a health problem, can feel daunting, but you can be more prepared when you know what questions to ask. The more you take an active role in your own health care journey, the more likely you'll be to have a better outcome that you understand and feel comfortable with. Here are some ideas to consider when deciding what you should discuss with your doctor and health care team at your next health care visit.


First, write down the questions you want to talk to your doctor and nurses about. That can help you remember them once the anxiety of your appointment sets in. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, points out that doctors, while knowledgeable about medical maladies, don't know everything about you. By asking questions, you help guide them toward the opportunity to provide you with better medical care. You also help develop a relationship with the nurses and medical assistants on the team who can begin to note the types of things that concern you.


Once your physician has arrived at a diagnosis, there will be even more questions. According to the Cleveland Clinic, you should ask very specific questions about your symptoms and diagnosis, and your specific treatment. If you need surgery, there are even further questions you'll want to discuss, so you feel less fearful and have a better understanding of everything you need to do before and after the procedure to have the best possible outcome. Common questions about symptoms or a diagnosis include:

  • What the disease actually is
  • What caused it
  • If there is a cure or treatment for it

You may also want to know the overall prognosis, what tests you should have, and how you should monitor or follow-up when it comes to your specific condition and circumstances.


As for the treatment you'll need, consider asking:

  • What your options are, and
  • Whether the treatment will be ongoing (and for how long)

Also, talk with your doctor about the cost and the types of side effects you may experience. Knowing those things can make it easier for you to decide between different treatment choices so you can get the one that's best for your particular situation. It's a good idea to inquire about how the treatment might affect your work and your home life, too, in case you'll have to make personal or professional changes to accommodate the treatment you need.


Nurses and medical assistants can also provide you with a lot of information about your care, and about ways to see improvements in your overall health. Whether you have a medical condition that has to be treated, or you just want to know more about staying healthy, the support staff at your doctor's office can be a wealth of information.

People who work in medical assisting jobs to get their education from places like Concorde, where they learn ways to help people understand their health care and live better lives. It's a rewarding opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people just like you, who have questions or concerns about their health care needs.

Have your list of questions ready? Our career counselors have answers. Contact us today and we'll get you started on a rewarding career in health care.

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