Have you ever thought that going to the doctor is a little like speed dating? You have just a few minutes to try to get answers to all your questions.
But are you asking the right questions?
Here are some top questions doctors wish their patients would ask to help them get the most out of their office visits:
1) Ask about tests
Your doctor knows he or she may not see you for a while. So it may seem normal to order all possible tests at once to cover all the bases. But you are the one who has to get poked and prodded and eventually pay the bill.
So ask questions about tests your doctor wants to order:
- Why are you doing this test?
- What will this test tell us?
- How much will the test cost?
- How will I get the test results?
- How long will it take to get the results?
- Do we have to do this test now?
2) Ask about care
You may have been going to the same doctor for many years and been treated very well. But if you have a serious or unusual illness, your family doctor may not be the best person to take care of this condition.
Ask questions about your doctor’s experience and how you can learn more:
- How many patients with my condition have you treated?
- How much experience with this test or procedure do you have?
- Should I get a second opinion?
- How can I learn more about my symptoms or condition?
3) Ask about resources
If you’re like many people, as soon as you develop a new symptom, you jump on the internet to see what the cause might be. Unfortunately, not all internet sources are accurate or up-to-date.
Ask your doctor what sources you can trust:
- I googled my symptoms and read this. Is it accurate?
- I want to read more about my condition. What online sources should I trust?
- What other sources are available? Who can I talk to about this?
4) Ask about treatments
Your doctor may have many treatment options to choose from. Familiarity and past success may lead him or her to recommend one over another. But that may not be your only option.