2×5 questions you should ask your doctor

2x5 questionsPatients usually visit a doctor to find an answer to two main questions:

1. What’s the cause of my symptoms? (Diagnosis)

2. What can be done about it? (Treatment)

There are a 5 simple questions you can ask your doctor about the diagnosis and 5 questions about the treatment, to be better informed, and get the outcome you prefer.

Diagnosis

  1. How certain or uncertain are you about the diagnosis?
  2. Are further tests required?
  3. If so, how good are the tests? Will they rule out or pick up the problem?
  4. Are there risks attached to the test? Eg bleeding, radiation exposure.
  5. Is the test necessary or are there other options? Eg treat, wait.

Treatment

  1. What treatments are available to manage the problem?
  2. How successful is the treatment?
  3. Are there risks attached to the treatment? Eg adverse reactions, interactions with other medications, antibiotic resistance, bleeding, infection.
  4. Is the treatment necessary or are there other options? Eg wait, try lifestyle changes first, do further tests, see another doctor.
  5. Is there anything else I need to know about the treatment? Eg how to administer, when to come back, how to prevent this from happening again.

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