Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Questions to Ask DoctorWhen you see your doctor, you probably expect to answer questions. But, good communication is a necessary component of good health care, and communication is a two-way street. Even though a doctor might have the knowledge and experience to help you, his or her ability to do so is limited by the extent of his or her knowledge about you. By asking questions and offering information during your medical appointments, you can provide valuable insight about yourself and your health concerns, and also make the most of your limited time with your health care provider. More importantly, as an active participant in your care, you can help foster a trusting doctor-patient relationship that can lead to better outcomes.

Most doctors welcome patient involvement and encourage patients to take active roles in their care. In order to ensure that you won’t forget anything, you can develop a list of questions that you plan to ask in advance of your appointment. For instance, depending on whether your doctor confirms a diagnosis, orders a test, recommends surgery or other treatment, or writes you a prescription, you might ask:

  • What do you believe is causing my problem?
  • What is this test intended to show, and what is the next step after we get the results?
  • Will I need additional testing?
  • What will this medication do, and how should I take it?
  • Will I experience side effects?
  • What are my treatment options, including the risks and benefits of each?
  • Why do I need surgery, and are there any alternatives?
  • How will my surgery be performed?
  • Do I need to make any lifestyle changes?
  • Should I be watchful for certain symptoms?
  • What should I do if my symptoms worsen?
  • When should I follow up with you?
  • What is the long-term outlook for my condition, both with and without treatment?

You might also find it helpful to take notes during your appointment. Additionally, you could ask a family member or trusted friend to accompany you to help you understand and remember your doctor’s instructions.

If you would like to consult with a doctor, please feel free to contact or visit South Tampa Immediate Care. No appointments are ever necessary at our walk-in clinic, where you will be seen by a well-qualified doctor who has many years of experience in identifying and treating many common health conditions.