Asking the right questions could make all the difference in the quality of care you receive from your doctor. Yes, you pay them for their work but that does not mean they will tell you everything you should know about your health unless you ask them to. Doctors obviously know a lot about medicine but do not assume they will give you all the information you want unless you ask them. They are also busy people, having to see so many patients every day which is why they will give you only the information they deem necessary, which might not always be enough. So being inquisitive and communicating with your doctor will help you get the most out of your medical visits.
To help you out, we have prepared a list of questions you should be asking your doctor but aren’t.
Q.1. What is this test for?
Doctors order a lot of tests during routine examinations but that doesn’t mean you have to go through with all of them. You can ask them what a test is for and if it’s unnecessary you can choose to not do it. However, some are potentially lifesaving so it is best to listen to your doctor.
Q.2. Are there any other treatment options?
Doctors usually go for the most common treatment options to be on the safe side. However, you can ask them about other options and if you feel like another might suit you better or lie more in your budget, you can go with that one.
Q.3. What are the chances of this going sideways?
Always ask about potential complications of a procedure, especially if it is invasive. It’s best to know what to expect so that you’re mentally prepared. Complications can be as simple as dizziness to life-threatening allergic reactions.
Q.4. Does this medication have any side effects?
Almost every medicine has side effects which your doctor might not tell you about unless you ask him. That said, you should also give all the information you can to your doctor so that he knows which medicine to give and not give. Depending on your medical history, side effects can vary in magnitude and presentation.
Q.5. Why is this medication the best for me?
If you’re curious about your treatment and want to understand it better you should be asking this question. Most diseases are treatable by more than one drug so there’s always a reason your doctor hand-picks a particular drug to treat you.
Q.6. Any signs and symptoms I should be wary of?
Many diseases are genetically transmitted so if you’ve had multiple family members succumb to the same disease, chances are you will too. To catch it early on you should inquire your doctor about initial signs and symptoms.
Q.7. Does my insurance cover this?
Insurance can be troublesome to understand especially when it comes to medical treatments. Some treatments and procedures are covered but some aren’t. It’s always a good idea to ask this question to save yourself from unexpected future bills.
Q.8. How will this diagnose affect my life?
Some health issues do not require you to bring changes in your lifestyle whereas others do. It’s always a good idea to ask this question because these changes might be the way to a cure. These changes can be a modification of diet or prioritizing sleep or others.
Q.9. Could my symptoms belong to something other than the diagnosis?
Many medical conditions share a lot of symptoms so diagnoses aren’t always set in stone. You should ask your doctor about other possible conditions you might have that share symptom with the diagnosis. The more you know, the better.
Q.10. How accurate is this test?
Most tests are never 100 percent accurate. Sometimes tests can be misleading so it’s a good idea to ask this question to know how trustable your diagnosis is before you start panicking.
Q.11. Should I refrain from doing certain things during this medication?
Certain treatment plans require you to avoid some things during treatment. These may be some specific delicacies or even everyday items. Some household medicines like Panadol might not mix well with your treatment so this is a very important question to ask. Your doctor should tell you all this without asking but like we mentioned before they are busy people and human beings so they might forget.
Q.12. Will alcohol interfere with my treatment?
Many medicines are activated in the liver, which is also where most of your alcohol is processed. Therefore, if you’re going to have a night out partying make sure to ask your doctor beforehand if alcohol will have an effect on your meds.
Q.13. What to do if I miss a dose?
This has happened to all of us more than once. In such a scenario, some medicines are okay to take as soon as you remember you missed their dose whereas some should only be taken at their prescribed time. Every drug has different requirements to keep it working. Ask your doctor this question so that you don’t panic if and when you do miss a dose.
Q.14. Where can I get a second opinion?
It’s always a good idea to get a second opinion if you’re unsure. Your doctor will not be offended if you ask this question. Doctors are human beings and all humans approach problems in different ways. Doctors are aware of this. A different doctor might come to a different conclusion which could be the right one.
Q.15. What might this symptom mean?
A lot of times we dismiss small signs and symptoms deeming them insignificant when they might actually be crucial for diagnosis. Sometimes the most seemingly unrelated symptoms can be a presenting feature of a certain disease. So don’t keep secrets from your doctor and be sure to communicate everything you notice strange in yourself.
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