25 Important Questions to Ask Your Physician

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How many times have you walked out of your Doctor’s office, drove home, walked through the front door, tossed the keys on the counter, and remembered an important question that you wanted to ask your Doctor?  Been there.  If you’re middle aged or older (and missing some estrogen, ladies), odds are good that you’ve been there too.  It’s frustrating at best and downright scary when unanswered questions involve medications or pre/post surgical instructions which can be life threatening.

 

Whether your medical question is big or small, it’s important.  To avoid regret and the runaround, it’s best to get all your questions answered while you’re sitting in front of your physician and have his direct attention.  Feel free to print our Physician Consultation Checklist to use during you or your loved one’s next medical consultation, compliments of Parrish Law.

 

As an Estate Planner, I recognize the difference it can make when you take a proactive approach to important matters, including your health and well being.  We have provided you with plenty of space after each important question on our checklist for jotting down the response.  We wish you and yours well as you tackle any medical matters.  Like estate planning, it’s wise to take action now if your body is attempting to let you know that something is “off”.  Taking action early on can be the difference between life and death in some cases.  Taking action now around your estate plan can be the difference between leaving a legacy of love or a legacy of loss.  We’ve been helping families create their “Legacy of Love” for more than 25 years now.  We’re here to help you as well, if you need some guidance and direction.

 

Physician Consultation Checklist

(Compliments of Parrish Law, www.saratogaestateplanningelderlawyer.com)

 

 

Prior To Your Office Visit, describe your symptoms in detail here to ensure you don’t miss anything important when you’re sitting with your Doctor:

 

 

During Your Initial Consultation, Ask Your Doctor These Questions:

(Per MedicineNet.com)

 

What do you think is causing my problem?

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

How safe are the tests?

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Important Reminder: Establishing an accurate diagnosis is key to proper treatments. You are the most important person in this process by accurately describing to your doctor the character, location, duration, and time of onset of your symptoms. You should also inform your doctor about vitamins, herbs, and medications you are taking. 

 

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During Your Follow-up Visit, Ask Your Doctor These Questions:

 

If you’ve made a diagnosis, what is it?  (If you’re unclear once your physician explains it, ask him or her to use layman’s terms.)

 

 

Is this something that I’ll have forever, or will it pass?

 

 

What challenges do people face who are living with this diagnosis?

 

 

Is there anything that I should tell my family, so they can be of assistance?
What type of treatment(s) do you recommend for this condition?

 

 

When would the treatment(s) begin, and where are they done?

 

 

How often must I have the treatment(s)?  Will I be permitted to drive myself to and from them?

 

 

Are there any risks or side effects that I should be aware of?

 

 

Are there alternative treatments available, even if you don’t agree with them?

 

 

What steps should I take to manage this problem over the long haul?
Will I need to see a specialist or any other physician(s) as well?
Will you be in charge of my care?  If not, who will be?
What medications will I need?  (Review your current list of meds for conflicts)
When should I come back to see you, and how often will I have to see you going forward?

 

 

 

If I opt out of treatment(s) or medication, what would the outcome be?

 

 

 

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