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What questions should I ask at my appointment?

Posted by Be Well

What questions should I ask at my appointment?
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When you go to see your doctor, doctor or specialist, are you really getting the best out of your appointment? Here are our top tips for making sure you get the most out of your appointment time. Take a print out of this page to your appointment if it helps.

Before your appointment

Before your appointment it's a good idea to jot a few things down on paper, such as:

  • the two most important questions you want to ask, (see the list below for some ideas),
  • a list of all the medicines you use - including what type of contraceptive pill you use and if you take any vitamins, and
  • a note of all your symptoms, including when they started and whether they have got better or worse over time.

Don't forget to take these notes with you to your appointment. And remember that you can always take a relative or friend with you to help ask those all important questions.

If you need an interpreter let your doctor or hospital doctor know in plenty of time before your appointment.

Those all important questions

Here are some examples of the type of questions you might want to ask during your appointment:

  • Why do you think I am ill?
  • What are those tests for?
  • How and when will I get the results back?
  • Are there any alternative treatments for my condition?
  • When should I take the prescribed medication?
  • What are the potential side effects or risks?
  • How long will I need to continue the treatment?
  • How will I know if the treatment is working?
  • Are there any changes to my lifestyle I should change?
  • Can you explain that again please?

During your appointment

During your appointment it's worth taking notes to help you remember any particular details.

The most important thing to remember is to always ask question if you've unsure - if you don't understand something ask for examples. You might not understand some words or phrases your doctor or specialist uses, so ask for them to be explained further or written down.

Before you leave your appointment

Before you leave your appointment there are some key points you need to make sure are covered. These include:

  • Checking you've asked all the questions you wanted to address before you went into your appointment.
  • Making sure you understood what was said - if you're still unsure ask for it to be explained again.
  • Ask what should happen next, and when - for example if another appointment is necessary.
  • Make sure you know who to contact if you have any further problems - this might include support groups.

After your appointment

Once you've left your appointment make sure to keep your notes safe - they may come in handy later if you need to see a specialist.

It's important you follow up any details discussed with your doctor or specialist, such as arranging another appointment.

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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