When you go to your doctor for a checkup, you should maximize the visit by asking direct questions about your condition. Do not hesitate to probe because your health and well-being is always the top priority. The following guide provides good ideas on questions to ask your doctor:
The doctor will inquire about your symptoms, medical history, and other pertinent matters. He or she will then do an initial health check to gather more information. These should provide enough data to make a preliminary diagnosis. After these, ask the doctor what he thinks is causing the problem. There may be two or more factors at play so explore all the possible causes. Have the doctor walk you through what could happen for each scenario — that is, the course of the condition and the long-term outlook.
The initial diagnosis may need to be confirmed by laboratory tests to increase certainty. Ask what types of tests may be done to pinpoint the cause, what these involve, how much they cost, and how reliable they are. Have the physician explain the process step by step. For your peace of mind, raise the issue of safety and get an assurance that these tests will not have major detrimental effects. If there are multiple options, solicit the pros and cons of each test so that you can make an informed decision about your personal health.
Once the condition has been confirmed, the focus shifts into the resolution of the problem. Ask about the treatment options available for relief. Probe into the effectiveness of each option given your particular situation. Try to learn more about the benefits of these treatments and weigh them against the risks. Make a request for pertinent information regarding the prescribed medications including their possible side effects. If you are pregnant or have a chronic illness, tell the doctor about it. Ask whether the drugs are safe given your delicate condition. Get the schedule of follow-up visits if needed.
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