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Questions you should always ask your doctor

Questions you should always ask your doctor

Questions you should always ask your doctor

By Violet Smith

BDO Staff Writer

      Your doctor appointments should never be one-sided conversations, but unfortunately, many are.

     In reality, you should be asking the doctor almost as many questions as they ask you. But thanks to everything from a doctor’s rushed demeanor to a patient’s lack of information about what exactly to ask, many patients leave their appointments confused and frustrated.

     The next time you have a doctor’s appointment, read this handy list so that you’re in a better position to get what you want out of your visit. If it helps, you can even print it out and bring it with you to your appointment.

     Now, of course, many of these questions can be tailored and shaped to your appropriate needs. If you’re visit is for an annual checkup, and your doctor is telling you then everything seems normal and ordering routine blood work, then your questions will probably be more focused on asking about when you can receive your test results, if there are any other exams you will need in the near future, if there are any recommended changes to your general lifestyle habits, etc.

     However, if you have a particular condition or health complaint, your questions may be much more detailed and specific. The below questions are a great foundation to help shape the dialogue you need and want to have with your doctor.

 Before the visit:

     •      Take a list of any medications you are currently taking.

     •      If you have seen a particular doctor before, take your medical records with you.


During the visit:

     •      State your main problem first.

     •      Describe your symptoms.

     •      Describe your past experiences with the same problem.

 After The Doctor Has Listened To Your Concerns, Be Sure To Ask:

     •      What’s wrong?

     •      What might happen next?

     •      What can I do at home?

     •      What’s the name of the medication (or test, or procedure) you’re recommending (if applicable)?

     •      Why do I need the treatment you’re recommending?

     •      What are the risks of my condition/ailment?

     •      Are there any treatment alternatives?

     •      What happens if I do nothing?

     •      (For medications) How do I take this?

     • (For tests) How do I prepare?

 At the end of the visit, ask:

     •      Do I need to return for another visit?

     •      Can I phone in for test results?

     •      What danger signs should I look for?

     •      When do I need to report back about my condition?

     •      What else do I need to know?

     After your visit, more questions may pop up. Be sure to ask either the doctor or the front desk staff for the best ways of getting in touch with the doctor to ask any additional questions or share additional concerns.


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