This is the second article in a series on “How to Talk With Your Doctor.”
Have you ever gone to your doctor and completely drawn a blank and forgot what questions you wanted to ask? It’s very important to know how to talk to the doctor.
A good game plan and a few simple questions can help you make the most of your next visit. Asking questions will help you get a better sense of what your doctor is thinking, and why he or she is recommending a certain treatment or diagnostic procedure. And most importantly, it will better enable you to be a partner in your health care. But you need to know what to ask.
Here is a good start …
1. Actually, the first isn’t so much a question, but it’s important to put on the table up front. When you see the doctor, say, “The most important things I want to talk about today are this, this, and that” and list them according to priority.
2. Once your doctor makes a diagnoses, ask him or her, “What else do you think it could be?” and “How sure are you?”
3. “What are my options?” Ask what could you have done to cause it, and what can you do to remedy it and prevent it from recurring.
4. If medication is necessary, ask, “Why am I getting that drug?”
5. What are the side effects?
6. Should I get a second opinion?
Most doctors do not take it personally, but they view it as though you are taking your health seriously.