Regardless of the kind of relationship you may have with your healthcare provider, you are the best advocate when it comes to your health. You feel and know your body better than anyone does. And with a myriad of videos, blog posts and books published about health every single day, there are more than enough resources out there for you to gain an understanding of your own health and wellness.
This doesn’t absolve anyone for getting yearly check-ups and participating in health assessments. However, it does mean that you can form an educated partnership with your healthcare provider so that you receive the best healthcare for you. In this post, we will go over questions to ask your doctor at your next appointment.
“I read about my symptoms and what to expect. What is your opinion based on my history?”
Because of readily available information on the internet, it is not uncommon for people to read about their symptoms before seeing their doctor. Instead of using this knowledge as a weapon to attack your doctor, ask them what their professional opinion is about your prognosis based on what they know about you.
Medical websites typically give general information. This forms a base of knowledge that may or may not be applicable to you because of your personal health history. Framing the question this way, tells the doctor that you have done your homework and also communicates respect for your doctor’s expertise and what they can do to help you.
“Which resources do you recommend for getting medical information?”
Anyone with a blog and YouTube channel can put out medical information. Sometimes, these medical “facts” are untrue and can actually be harmful.
Ask your doctor which resources they would recommend for getting medical information that is geared towards the general public.
“Why am I taking this medication?”
Sometimes, when you are in pain, all you want is for that pain to go away. Because of this, people never ask their doctor why they have been prescribed a particular medicine. But it is important that you understand why you are taking a medication. At the very least, if you ask this question, your doctor will give you a printout that gives you full information on the medication you are going to take.
These medication information sheets usually contain how the medicine works, the other names the medication goes by and side effects to expect. Next time you are in a doctor’s office and you are given a new medication, this is an important question to ask.
“When should I come and see you again?”
If you anticipate coming to see a particular doctor again, you can ask them this question.
Another way to phrase the question could be “What are the plans for a follow-up visit?”.
Doctor’s offices and hospitals are busy places. This means that in making sure you get the essential care you need while on your visit, your doctor might forget to ask you to schedule a follow-up visit. Instead of wondering when they would like to see you next, ask the question and have your next visit scheduled before you leave.
“What would you like to see from me during our next visit?”
This question is powerful because it communicates that you have taken ownership of your own healthcare. It shows that you are most likely going to implement the advice the doctor has given you on this visit. Doctors are genuinely excited to hear this question because most of the time, people don’t ask.
This conversation gives you and your doctor goals to look forward to on your next visit. Depending on your particular situation, your doctor might want to see that:
- You have lost a particular weight number
- Your blood sugar levels are under control
- A persistent complaint has improved because of prescribed interventions
This question is also a great conversation starter for the doctor to talk to you about the results you can expect from a prescribed medication or recommended procedure.
Taking ownership of your health starts with asking your doctor the right questions. Asking the right questions allows your healthcare provider to tailor healthcare solutions to your particular situation. Use these 5 questions to ask your doctor at your next appointment to make sure you get the best care suited for you.