For all things, these are excellent questions to consider asking. Don’t always rely on your healthcare provider to make all of the decisions for you.
- What are my treatment options?
- Are the tests safe and accurate?
- How long will treatment take?
- What are the risks and benefits of the treatment?
- What are side effects of the treatment?
- How do I know if the medications are working?
- What steps do I need to take to eventually discontinue these medications?
- How serious is my illness or condition, and how will it affect the rest of my work and home life?
- What caused the illness?
- What other diseases could be causing my symptoms?
- What are my long and short term prognosis?
- What would happen if I didn’t recieve treatment?
- What if I delayed treatment?
- How much will this cost?
- Are there alternatives to this treatment, medication, or procedure?
Never be ashamed to take notes, or say you don’t understand. The key to recovering is fully understanding your disease process. Before patients leave my exam room, I make them repeat back to me, in their own words, what I just explained.
You ask just as many questions when buying a house, or paying someone to do your taxes, so ask away!
Danielle Kelvas, MD