Another in a good series of posts on improving doctor visits. In additional to the usual ‘what to bring’ list, this post provides good guidance on asking the right questions:
If you are given a new diagnosis, find out the following:
- How certain are you about this diagnosis?
- What else could this be?
- Are there other tests that can be performed?
- Is there anything in my history that has contributed to this?
- How is this treated?
- Repeat back what you have heard, to make sure both you and the doctor are on the same page.
Know your next steps. Before you leave, be sure to ask:
- What is the follow-up plan?
- Who do I call with questions?
- When should I schedule my next appointment?
I particularly like the ‘replay’ point, as it helps ensure a common understanding, and helps the doctor know whether he or she has explained things clearly.