Your relationship with your doctor, including how well you talk with each other, affects your care. A good relationship — where you and your doctor share information and work together to make the best decisions about your health — will result in the best care.
In addition to bringing your medications (or a list of them) and a list of any symptoms you may have, here are some questions to make talking to your doctor more effective:
- What is wrong (if anything)? How do you know? What caused this problem?
- What tests do I need and why?
- What do the tests involve?
- How do I prepare for the tests?
- When will I know the test results?
- Will my insurance cover the cost of the tests?
- What are my treatment choices?
- What are the benefits and risks of each treatment?
- What are the side effects?
- Which treatment is most common for my condition?
- What do I do if treatment fails?
- What kind of medication(s) must I take? For how long?
- What does the drug do? Will there be any side effects?
- What should I do if I have side effects?
- Can I take a generic version of the drug?
- Will the medicine interact with any I am already taking?
- Should I avoid any kind of food or activity while taking this medicine?
- Do I need to see a specialist? Should I get a second opinion?
- Do I need a follow-up visit?