Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Who’s asking the questions?

When you are at your doctor’s, typically you’ll find yourself getting asked many questions. You need to be asking questions too. Remember the more proactive you are in your treatment the more likelihood of a better outcome. William C. Shiel, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR and Chief Editor for MedicineNet.com has come up with 10 sets of questions that you should be asking during your visits:

1. What do you think is causing my problem?

2. Is there more than one condition (disease) that could be causing my problem?

3. What tests will you do to diagnose the problem and which of the conditions is present?

4. How good are the tests for diagnosing the problem and the conditions?

5. How safe are the tests?

6. What is the likely course of this condition? What is the long-term outlook with and without treatment?

7. What are my treatment options? How effective is each treatment option? What are the benefits versus risks of each treatment option?

8. If my symptoms worsen, what should I do on my own? When should I contact you?

9. Are you aware of each of the medications that I am taking? Can they adversely interact with the medications you are prescribing for me?

10. Should we monitor for side effects of the medications that you are prescribing or for their interactions with other medications I am taking?

It is recommended that you have your questions written down for reference during your consultation with your doctor. Also remember to take notes and you will be on your way to being a proactive patient.