A successful relationship with your doctor depends on successful communication. This can be challenging when physicians are often hurried from one 10-minute appointment to the next, and no matter how much they care about their patients, it is not a lot of time.
If you have a serious concern or feel like you need extra time with your doctor, ask the receptionist when you schedule your appointment. It might be possible to get extra time.
It’s also helpful to go into your appointment prepared with questions for your doctor. Here we suggest several questions to get you started.
The questions for providers below are for routine visits (as opposed to acute injury/illness or chronic conditions) to the doctor. We included questions for general visits, pediatric visits and prenatal/pregnancy visits.
This is an introductory collection of questions, to help you consider which questions to ask your doctor. Ask any additional questions you have. Be straightforward and unembarrassed.
- What preventative screening tests should I have? How often?
- Please note this is especially important if you are over 60.
- Do I need vaccines? Which ones? On what schedule?
- How much exercise should I be getting?
- Are there any changes I should make to my lifestyle?
- Is my child growing (height and weight) as expected?
- Is my child developing (skills) as expected?
- Are his/her immunizations up to date?
- What changes should I expect to see during this next stage of development?
- What can I do now to help my child’s health and behavior in the future?
- What is my due date?
- Are there any risk factors based on my age, health history, or family history? Is my pregnancy high-risk?
- Do I need prenatal vitamins? Which ones?
- Do I need tests? Which ones?
- Can I continue taking my medication?
- Are the symptoms I have normal? (List symptoms)
- What are your recommendations for exercise, eating, and weight gain? What should I avoid and what should I make sure to include?
- What symptoms would concern you? What should I do if I think something is wrong?
- Do you recommend taking a prenatal or childbirth class? Which one?
Be sure to detail a labor plan and discuss this with your doctor, as well
RMHP is an advocate for the relationship between doctors and their patients. We believe that the people who should make your health care decisions are you and your doctor.