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Providing Care

Questions to Ask the Doctor

Article Highlights

  • Important questions to ask
  • Don't ignore your loved ones symptoms
  • Follow-up when necessary

En español | Trips to the doctor’s office can leave you harried and overwhelmed. As a result, important questions can be forgotten. Here is a list of suggested questions to consider bringing with you to your loved one’s next appointment.

See also: How to talk effectively with health care providers.


Here are the symptoms my mother is experiencing. What could be causing them?


  • What illness or condition does/could my loved one have?
  • How is the condition or illness diagnosed?
  • What are the treatment options?
  • What is the most effective treatment?
  • What are the causes of this condition or illness?
  • What is likely to happen with and without treatment?
  • Are there common complications associated with this illness or condition?


  • What is the name of the medicine you are prescribing?
  • What is its benefit?
  • Is a generic drug available?
  • What are the risks and side effects?
  • How often should my loved one take the drug?
  • How long should he take the drug?
  • What foods, other medicines or activities should he avoid while taking this drug?
  • Could this medicine interact with any medications he’s currently taking?

Diet and Exercise

  • Are there foods that my loved one should avoid?
  • Should my loved one eat more of a certain type of food?
  • Do you recommend vitamins or supplements?
  • How often should my loved one exercise?
  • What types of exercise are safe?
  • What types of exercise are not safe?


  • Are tests necessary?
  • What will they show?
  • What preparation is needed?
  • When will we get the results?
  • What do the test results mean?

Next: Questions about costs»

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