How To: Ask Your Doctor a Question

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Whether it’s a mysterious bump or strange symptoms that have got you feelin’ under the weather, we sometimes always jump to the same conclusion: it’s a life-threatening illness. Well, you won’t find answers on the Internet. That usuallly makes things 100x worse (in your mind anyway). Here are some tips for getting medical advice from your doctor, not your laptop.

  1. Schedule an appointment. Call your doctor’s office and ask if you can make an appointment. Don’t freak out if the receptionist asks why you are coming in – just say you have a medical related question for your doctor.
  2. Make a list. If you are experiencing a lot of symptoms, write them down so that you don't miss a thing. Also, write when they occur and how often.
  3. Don’t question your question. Nervously asking an unplanned question can leave your doctor confused. Write a list of questions before the appointment and simply read from the list.
  4. Make a medication list. Medications have different side effects for everyone. Make a list of medications you have taken since the symptoms started.
  5. When to ask. If you are planning to ask your doctor during a checkup, ask the question while your doctor is sitting down with the chart open. If you ask while your doctor is half way out the door, you might receive a rushed response.
  6. Don’t be afraid. While these questions may be difficult for you, your doctor is a professional and you are in a safe environment. Ask to have the answer fully explained without sugar coating anything. If you don’t understand something then ask your doctor to explain more clearly.
  7. Be honest. We know asking a question is embarrassing enough, but be honest if your doctor asks you a question. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth. Doctors aren’t there to judge or to be tattletales, they are there to help.

Want to do more about your physical/mental health? Check out our resources and action guides. GO