6 Questions You Should Ask at Every Doctor’s Appointment

Be prepared at your next doctor’s appointment with this list of questions.

Older patient asking questions while talking with doctor about medical issues.

When you visit your doctor, it’s important to know what to ask to make the most of the appointment. In the moment, you may forget what you wanted to ask or feel frazzled when your doctor asks you if you have any questions.

Use this simple list of questions to ask at every doctor’s appointment so you’re always prepared.

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Do I need any medical testing?

Understanding what type of medical testing you may need will help you get a sense of what your doctor is looking for and what conditions may be present. Some of the most common types of testing include blood tests, x-rays, and cancer screenings. By asking whether you need any tests done at your appointment, you can get a sense of what might be necessary and what to expect in the future.

What may have caused my health condition?

Being diagnosed with a health condition can be overwhelming, but getting as much information as possible during your appointment can help alleviate some of your worry and help you feel more confident going forward. If your condition was caused by a lifestyle choice, you may be able to change your lifestyle or habits and improve your health. If the cause was beyond your control, understanding this fact may reduce some of the guilt or fear you are experiencing as you face the treatment.

What treatment options are available, and what do you recommend?

If you have been diagnosed with a new medical condition, it’s helpful to understand what treatment options are available to you. In many cases, a condition has more than one course of treatment.

Your doctor may recommend a lifestyle change, order a medical test to confirm what may be going on in your body, or prescribe a medication to help manage or treat the condition. By asking what treatment options are available, you can become more involved in your care.

When you ask what your doctor would recommend as the best course of treatment, you are showing your trust in them and their medical opinion. You can also learn more about why they recommend a particular treatment, as they may have seen good results in the past or studied the latest treatment options and conditions as part of their continuing education.

Are there any known side effects of that particular medication?

When you are prescribed a medication as part of a treatment for a condition, you may want to find out whether that medication has known side effects. Most drugs come with side effects, but your doctor will typically prescribe medications when the potential benefits of taking them outweigh the potential risks. It is important, however, to understand the side effects and know when to reach out to your doctor.

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Would you recommend any changes that I can make?

Certain lifestyle changes may allow you to live a healthier life. Asking your doctor if they would recommend any lifestyle changes can help you better understand what habits may be holding you back or causing you to experience medical conditions or unwanted side effects.

Am I due for any vaccines?

Vaccines are important for both children and adults, so asking your doctor if it’s time for you to get vaccinated can help you stick to the proper schedule. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a recommended vaccination list for adults on its website, based on age, health conditions, and other factors.

All adults need a seasonal flu vaccine, although it’s especially important for pregnant women, the elderly, and people with chronic conditions. Reviewing the vaccination schedule and talking to your doctor can help ensure that you get what you need at the right time in your life.

By asking these questions of your doctor at every appointment, you can take control of your health and feel confident as you go forward. Your doctor should be a trusted advocate who you feel comfortable talking to about your medical concerns and overall well-being.

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