Going to the Doctor? The Questions You Should Ask
Feb 7, 2019
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.
WRITE IT DOWNFirst, 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.
BE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR DIAGNOSISOnce 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
DO YOU HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION NEEDING TREATMENT?As for the treatment you'll need, consider asking:
- What your options are, and
- Whether the treatment will be ongoing (and for how long)