Have you ever felt anxious before your doctor's appointment because you're not quite sure what to say, or what to ask? Or, have you ever thought of something you wanted to ask the doctor only after you've left the office? Don't feel bad, it's natural to be nervous; and it's human to think of questions after-the-fact. But next time, avoid this fear and frustration and be prepared instead.
While all of these may not be right for you, here are some basic questions you may want to ask your doctor at your next appointment.
Questions You May Want to Bring Up With Your Doctor About...
Questions About Your Diagnosis
- What is my diagnosis? What does that mean?
- Is this a chronic illness?
- What causes this disease?
- Is there a cure?
- What kind of testing will I have to go through?
- How soon will I get the results? Will they contact me? How?
Questions About Your Symptoms
- What should I do if my symptoms get worse?
- Is there an ‘Action Plan' for my illness (set of instructions describing what to do if my symptoms get worse)?
- When should I call you? When should I call 911?
- Is there anything I can do to prevent or lessen my symptoms?
Questions About Your Medications
- How long will it take my medications to work?
- How long will I need to be on these medications?
- Will it be difficult to take my medications? Are there special instructions for the medications I am taking?
- Will I experience any side effects from taking my medications?
- Should I worry about drug interactions? Any drug interactions with the medications I am taking?
Questions About How Your Condition Might Affect Your Life
- How will this affect my home life?
- How will this affect my relationships?
- How will this affect my professional life?
- How will this affect things that I like to do for fun?
Questions About Prevention and Wellness
- What types of things can I do to help myself / improve my condition?
- Even though I've been smoking for years, will quitting now still help?
- Do you think I should gain / lose weight?
- Is my lifestyle active enough?
- What kinds of things can I do to become more active?
- Should I be taking any vitamins or supplements?
Questions About What's Next
- When should I come back next?
- How many follow-up appointments do you think I'll have?
- When should be worried if I don't start improving?
- What role will my primary care physician play in my treatment?
Questions About Additional Resources
- What additional resources are available to me?
- Where can I learn more about my condition?