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

Author Debby Golonka, MPH
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Last Updated April 21, 2009

Last Updated: April 21, 2009

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