Most of us only have a limited amount of time with our doctors, so it’s essential to make the most of it.
Your doctor is there to help you and educate you on living a healthy life. But, it’s your responsibility as part of the doctor-patient relationship to be proactive and ask questions that will help you live your healthiest life.
If you walk out of the doctor’s office feeling confused or like you didn’t get all the information you needed, you won’t be able to make the best decisions for your health when you return home.
Prepare questions about anything on your mind related to your health—anything you’re worried about, struggling with, or want to know more about. Here are a few questions to kick off your preparations:
What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make To Optimize My Health?
What diet or exercise plan is right for me?
Why will these changes help?
Your doctor should be able to give you specific recommendations based on your abilities and health goals. Whether you are dealing with a particular health issue or want to optimize your health, they should be able to give you actionable steps to take.
How Can I Reduce My Risk For…?
What am I at risk for?
Are there any tests or screenings I should get now?
This is important for both general health maintenance and specific issues that may run in your family or potentially be in your future. It’s essential to be aware of what conditions you may be predisposed to so that you can catch them early or take steps to prevent them altogether.
Can You Explain These Test Results?
Why did the test show this?
What can I do to improve these results?
Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on anything your doctor says or anything in your test results. They should be able to explain to you why the test was done, what the results mean, and the next steps you should take.
Do I Still Need All These Medications?
Can I reduce my dosages?
Is there a better treatment strategy we can try?
Over time, your body changes, and your health condition may improve or worsen. This can affect the medications you need to take and how often you need to take them. It’s essential to keep your doctor updated on how you’re doing and see if any changes can be made to your medication plan.
Some medications are not meant to be taken long-term, so it’s also important to ask if there are any risks associated with taking a particular medication.
Where Can I Find Reliable Information About…?
What should I learn more about?
Can you give me some resources to read?
Because of your limited time with your doctor, they may not be able to give you all the information you need about a particular topic. But, they should be able to provide you with some direction on where to look for more reliable and trustworthy information.
The more you know about your health, the better able you will be to make decisions that will help you live a long and healthy life.