Ask your doctor these seven questions at your next visit to gain more understanding about your health and build a relationship of trust with your doctor.
1. I Googled my symptoms, but what do you think?
Doctors see it all the time. Patients arrive at their appointment looking for confirmation of what they suspect is wrong with them after consulting with Dr. Google about their symptoms.
Your research will help you be more informed about your condition, but ask your doctor what he or she thinks and listen to their diagnosis with an open mind. Your doctor will know how best to interpret your symptoms and what other variables to consider when determining your treatment.
2. What Internet resources can I trust for medical information?
In today's information age, anyone with an opinion can share their "expertise" on any given condition. Believe it or not, personal blogs and Facebook posts aren't the most reliable source of information. Doctors get many questions about what patients read on the Internet, but they rarely get the question of which resources their patients can trust.
Your doctor will appreciate your desire to search for accurate and reliable information and will direct you to more credible resources so you can have the most up-to-date and accurate information about your health.
3. What can I do to prevent this from happening again?
Recovery from an illness or condition is wonderful, but taking steps to prevent illnesses will help you feel better, avoid future pain, and save your wallet a lot of grief.
Most doctors will proactively inform you of preventive measures, it's still a good idea to bring it up. Your doctor can help you come up with a strategy that is specific to you and your health situation.
4. Why am I taking this medication?
Doctors often expect patients to simply trust in the doctor's judgment when they prescribe medications. When you ask why you are taking a certain medication, it's an opportunity for you and your doctor to have an open conversation about your treatment.
You will better understand what you are taking and why you are taking it, along with any other side affects to be aware of.
5. What do you do for your personal wellness?
When you can engage your doctor in a conversation about his or her health you can get an idea of what you should be doing in your own life. If you physician practices a healthy lifestyle, he or she will be more successful in getting his or her patients to adopt healthy living.
You should be able to ask your doctor about how he or she practices wellness and listen to the steps he or she has taken to implement wellness habits.
6. When should I come see you again?
Doctors are there for you when you are sick, but also when you are feeling well. Take preventive care seriously and start seeing your doctor on a regular or annual basis to be sure you're living the healthiest life possible.
You will be more empowered to make healthier choices in your life, prevent diseases, and give your doctor the opportunity to detect diseases before they become serious.
7. What should I work on before my next visit?
Do not waste the time between visits. Asking your doctor which areas of your health you need to work on before your next visit initiates a conversation about your overall health.
Instead of being reactive, you can take control of your life to prevent future illness, or speed along the recovery of an existing condition.