Asking your doctor questions can protect your well-being

The first time your doctor mentions your diagnosis, you may have a lot of questions about what this result means for your health and your future. Relying on the expertise of your doctor, you may dismiss you questions and opt to just do what your doctor suggests. 

Asking questions is one of the most effective ways to participate in your treatment. Sharing your concerns can also help you feel more confident that your doctor understands your needs. 

Learning about your diagnosis

A new diagnosis means you have some learning to do. You can do your own research, but asking your doctor for clarity can improve your understanding. After learning about your diagnosis, you need to assess your treatment options. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institute on Aging, some of the questions to ask about your treatment include the following: 

  • Is your treatment a long-term solution? 
  • What are the side effects of your treatment? 
  • How can you manage your symptoms? 
  • Can you facilitate your recovery? 

Discussing improvements

Throughout your treatment and recovery, you should maintain constant communication with your doctor. If at any point during your treatment you feel uncertain about what is happening or the next steps in your recovery, ask your doctor for help. 

Inform your doctor of any improvements to your condition. This way you can modify your treatment to optimize its effect. If your treatment required you to stop doing some of the things you enjoy, consult with your doctor to clarify if and when you can resume those activities. Teaming up with your doctor can give you some control over your health and encourage responsibility from your health care provider.