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Good Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Sometimes it is hard to know or remember what to ask your health care provider. Bring this list with you when you go for a doctor’s visit or health test, or to get a prescription.

Questions to ask when you need a new test or treatment:

  • What is the test for?
  • When will I get the results?
  • Are there any common complications for people who take this test or treatment?

Questions to ask when you have to take new medicines:

  • Are there any possible side effects?
  • Can I take this medicine with those I’m already taking?

What if I don’t understand the answers?

Health information can be very confusing. If you don’t understand something, follow these steps:

  • If you don’t understand something, ask your provider to explain in a different way. You can also bring a family member or a friend to help you ask questions.
  • If you need help in a different language, the doctor’s office can arrange for an interpreter. Just let them know several days ahead of your visit.

How do I know if my new medicine will go with the one I'm already taking?

Make a list of the medicines you take and when you take them. Be sure to include over-the-counter (non-prescription) drugs and herbal remedies. Your health provider will then know if new medicines go with what you are taking.

How do I keep track of things I need to remember?

Before you visit, write down other things you want to ask. After your visit, write down things that your doctor, nurse or pharmacist wants you to remember.