4 Questions to Ask At Your Next Doctor’s Appointment
Although a doctors visit these days usually demands time for no more than 1 health concern, asking the right questions is as critical to your health as health itself. Informed questions are, of course, based on the reason for you visit, however there are four important questions that typically pertain to most: 1. Can you help me better understand my medical condition or diagnosis? 2. Are there other treatment options that I can consider? 3. What are the short and long term goals with this treatment? 4. Can you offer me other supportive resources to help me better manage my condition or concern?
There are many questions you should be asking when you make a visit to your doctor. That being said, some tend to trump the others. Educated knowledge, being informed, and taking the time for your doctor to have a conversation with you ultimately helps you be in better control of your health, and continues to create a more optimal doctor-patient relationship long term.
1. Can you Help Me Better Understand My Medical Condition or Diagnosis?
Let’s be honest, the in’s and out’s of health, disease and medical diagnoses isn’t always straight forward and clear. If you’re visiting your doctor because of a pre existing or new medical condition, knowing what it means helps you better understand the big picture. Once your doctor has provided a diagnosis, it’s just as vital for you, the patient, to know exactly what it means so you can better grasp an understanding of what’s going on.
2. Are There Other Treatment Options That I Can Consider?
The medical system is great because it has the advantage of experience. And with experience comes wisdom. Treating a medical condition with a drug, therapy or otherwise is often supported by hundreds upon thousands of patient visits and experiences. But just because something has worked for many, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you. It’s always prudent to inquire about all possible treatment options, as other agreed upon treatment considerations may be something that may ultimately work better in the end.
3. What are The Short And Long Term Goals With This Treatment?
Once you and your doctor discuss details and treatment options for your complaint or condition, ensuring you have a clear understanding of its goals is of prime importance. Learning about treatment time frames (how long do I have to be on this treatment for?) to its expected outcomes (what should I look for and expect along the way?) only makes it easier for you know what is happening with your health as well as better allowing your doctor to track your progress.
4. Can You Offer Me Other Supportive Resources To Help Me Better Manage My Condition Or Concern?
In all reality, doctors are the experts on treatment success and care. That being said, when it comes to your health, a team effort is always best. Asking your doctor for additional supportive resources for care only adds to a successful team approach to your health. From specialists, community resource, to legitimate online literature, the more help you can gather, the better you are positioned to help support your own health and the more strategic and effective your results will be.
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