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Ask-the-Doctor Checklist

Ask-the-Doctor Checklist

Before the visit:

  • Complete a copy of the Healthwise Self-Care Checklist and take it with you.
  • Take a list of any medicines you are currently taking.
  • If you have seen a doctor before for a similar problem, take the record from the visit with you.

During the visit:

  • State your main problem first.
  • Describe your symptoms (use the Healthwise Self-Care Checklist).
  • Describe your past experiences with the same problem.

After the visit, write down:

  • What's wrong.
  • What might happen next.
  • What you can do at home.

For medicines, tests, and treatments, you may want to ask:

  • What's the name of the medicine (or test, or procedure)?
  • Why do I need it?
  • What are the risks?
  • Are there alternatives?
  • What happens if I do nothing?
  • (For medicines) How do I take this?
  • (For tests) How do I prepare?

At the end of the visit, ask:

  • Do I need to return for another visit?
  • Can I phone in for test results?
  • What danger signs should I look for?
  • When do I need to report back about my condition?
  • What else do I need to know?

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Last Revised April 19, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

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