Glossary

Ask Your Doctor

Conversation is key in any good relationship, and the doctor/patient bond is no different. To make sure you always get the best care, you need to understand the care you're getting. Makes sense, right? 

Don't be afraid to ask questions. It can help prevent unnecessary visits to the doctor, surprising medical bills, medical mistakes, and, most importantly, you'll have peace of mind. Here's a list of topics and questions to ask your doctor. 

Questions About Medical Tests:

  • What is the test for?
  • How is it done?
  • Will it hurt?
  • What kind of information will it provide?
  • Is it the only way to find out that information?
  • How accurate is it?
  • What are the benefits and risks of having it? 

Questions About Conditions:

  • What is the name of my disease or condition, and what does it mean in plain English?
  • What is my prognosis?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the benefits and risks of treatment options?
  • How soon do I need to make a decision about treatment?
  • Will I need any additional tests? 

Questions About Medicine:

  • What is the name of the medicine?
  • What is it for?
  • Is there a generic version?
  • How many doses do I need to take? What if I miss a dose or take more than the recommended dose?
  • How am I supposed to take it?
  • How long do I need to take it? Can I stop taking it if I feel better?
  • Will I need a refill?
  • What are the side effects?
  • Are there foods, drinks, activities, or other medicines I should avoid while taking it?
  • How much does it cost? Is it covered by my health insurance? How much is my copayment

Questions About Treatment Options:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • What do you recommend?
  • Is the treatment painful? Can the pain be controlled?
  • What are the benefits and risks of this treatment?
  • What are the expected results? When will I see them?
  • What are the chances it will work?
  • What are the possible side effects? What should I do if they occur?
  • What if I choose not to have treatment?
  • How much does it cost? Is it covered by my health insurance? How much is my copayment?

 Questions About Surgery:

  • Why do I need surgery?
  • What kind of surgery do I need?
  • What are the benefits and risks of having it?
  • How many times have you done this surgery before?
  • How successful is it?
  • Which hospital is best for it?
  • Will it hurt?
  • Will I need anesthesia?
  • How long is the surgery?
  • How long will it take me to recover?
  • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • Is there another way to treat my condition without surgery?
  • How much will it cost? Is it covered by my health insurance? How much is my copayment?
  • Check out these informative safety tips from the government about the prescriptions you take, staying in the hospital, and getting ready for surgery.
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