10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor

10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Our visits to the doctor can be, at times, frequent — depending on how many physicians we see — but overall, short. Knowing what questions to ask will help guide you to understanding your health and your doctor better.

Below are a list of 10 questions that you may want to ask at your next doctors appointment. These questions aim to build trust and give you a sense of peace of mind when navigating certain journeys in life.

#1: What preventative care services are for me?
Preventative health services range from different health screenings including: physical / annual exams, blood tests, diabetes tests, cancer screenings, and immunizations. Talk to your doctor and see what options they offer and what screenings they suggest you get.

#2: How does my family history affect me?
Knowing your family’s medical history can be life changing. It’s important to know of any diseases or conditions that may run in your family. This will help the doctor have a general idea of what to possibly look out for when it comes to diagnosing diseases and give suggestions on what you can do to prevent them.

#3: How can I manage my symptoms?
Visiting your doctor may not be enough when it comes to relieving any pain. Often times follow-up appointments can be weeks out and iff what you’re dealing with affects your daily life and the things you do, ask your doctor what you can do to relieve that pain until the next appointment. This may require speaking to another professional such as a nutritionist or a home nurse — but your doctor should be able to point you in the right direction.

#4: How can making lifestyle changes improve my health?
Make sure you’re honest to your doctor about your lifestyle. This includes your what your diet is like, how much you exercise, your stress levels, what your sleep patterns are and now frequent you drink alcohol or smoke. Providing your doctor with this information will give them the opportunity to have a course of action for you.

#5: Why are you prescribing this medication?
It’s not uncommon to not question the type of medication our doctors prescribe. For the most part we trust them, but there should be an open line of communication when it comes to the medicines we put inside our bodies. It helps us understand what we’re taking and why.

#6: How many patients with this condition have you treated?
Asking your doctor about their previous experience with treating others with your condition is a great way to ensure that you’re getting the best treatment you can and from someone you trust.

#7: Can we discuss sexual/reproductive health concerns?
Sex can be a topic that we, for the most part, avoid while at the doctors, but it’s an important one to discuss. Don’t be afraid to ask what certain medications will do to certain body parts or, in return, ask if a certain issue that is occurring is from the medication and not something else. Speaking up about issues and concerns can help solve the problem and give you a better understanding about your body and overall health.

#8: Am I understood?
Communication is key when understanding your health. It is very easy to get mixed up and confused between how quickly things can be during an appointment and with the medical jargon thrown into the mix. When at your appointment, make sure to ask your doctor if you’re being understood with what you’re asking about. And, repeat what you hear your doctor saying to clear up any miscommunication.

#9: Can we talk about how to plan for end-of-life care?
No one wants to think of end of life but it is an important topic to discuss with your doctor. It’s better to be prepared and can plan ahead while you’re healthy and can communicate your wishes, instead of waiting until it’s a little too late and it becomes harder to set these plans in place. Having this planned out can help ease the burden on other family members figuring out what to do when that time comes as well.

#10: Do I need a follow-up visit?
Depending on what tests or diagnostics were done during your appointment, a follow-up might be required. Before leaving your appointment, make sure your next steps are clear.

Worried about doing this on your own? Bring a family member or caregiver along to your appointment to help!

Photo Source: Studio Romantic
Source: https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/slideshows/health-questions-to-ask-your-doctor