7 Questions You Must Always Ask Your Doctor

It’s been about 4 days and your sore throat just won’t go away, so you take a doctor’s appointment. You go in, and your doctor prescribes you some medicine. You complain about a few other minor health issues, and the doctor suggests a few blood tests.

A month later you receive a whopping bill – just for a visit you thought was covered by health insurance. So what do you think happened? What happened is that you probably did not ask the right questions.

In order to make the most of your visit, the most important questions to ask your doctor are:

1. "How can I reach you?"

This question may seem trivial, but how many times you ended up talking to an automated recording when you needed your doctor? A lot, maybe? Your doctor can also help you get in touch with other doctors, so you always have someone available when you’re in need. These days, it’s easier than ever to establish effective timely communication, which can ultimately lead to a stronger relationship with your doctor.

2. "How much will this test/exam/surgery cost me?"

A visit to the doctor can get expensive. And sadly, most doctors don't really know the cost of medications or therapies they prescribe. The doctor should be able to give you the approximate range, if not exact, of the place where he/she refers or the treatment. Many tests may sound simple but cost thousands of rupees! If he doesn't know, he should be able to refer you to an administrator who can help you find out the cost before you commit to a certain treatment.

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3. "What’s the best way to keep track of my medications?"

Medication can get downright confusing when you are prescribed multiple medicines including intake instructions scheduled for both night and morning… ensuring that you’re taking the right dosage can be a task. Multiple medications can get more complicated if you're already into your regular vitamin and other medicine routine. So it’s important to figure out how you can integrate the two. So ask!

Medication Tracker and Pill Reminder and other such apps are also great, you'll have the data right at your fingertips!

4. "Is there any other treatment option?"

A doctor should not be someone imposing his actions on his patients. If you're taking a treatment, it should be a joint decision. A doctor's job is to inform his patients about various other treatments available, so that you can work it out together with your doctor.

5. "Is there anything I can do to improve my condition?"

70% of your risk of illness depends on the lifestyle choices you make including the kind of food you eat, the amount of sleep you get or whether you smoke or have any other kind of addiction. Certain changes in your lifestyle could make a huge difference and help you recover a bit more quickly. These healthy lifestyle changes prove to be more important than taking a medication. And most doctors won’t suggest it unless you ask!

6. "Are there any side-effects?"

Your doctor must always tell you about the side-effects of a certain medication beforehand. It's not always that a prescribed medication will work perfectly with a patient. These side-effects could include headaches, blisters or rashes – and they are common...

7. "Why am I taking this medication?"

Most often, doctors just prescribe the medicines/treatment without explaining much, thinking that the patient will trust him blindly. You must understand what you’re taking and why you’re taking it.

A patient’s healthcare journey is a two-way street. Though it may seem like an unnecessary appointment in your day, think of the time spent with your doctor as a roadmap to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and increasing longevity. So, what are you waiting for? Make that appointment and go ahead and start talking.

Since it's Doctor's Day on 1st July, it’s the perfect opportunity to thank your doctor... So take that phone and make the call now!


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