Hey there Guys. Today I wanted to share how thinking of questions to ask a doctor can improve your satisfaction and outcomes when you go to see your GP.
Today I went to see my own GP to discuss side effects of a medication. During the consult I had an interesting mismatch of my expectations compared to my doctor’s. In my mind I was looking to change my medication to eliminate side effects, in my doctor’s mind she wanted to add another medications to deal with the side effects.
It was not until I was able to say, actually no I don’t want an additional medicine, I wanted to change the medicine. Once we were both on the same page and were able to sort it out. This was relatively minor though sometimes sharing specific questions can make a huge difference.
Important questions to ask a doctor
In medical school we are taught to find answers to clinical questions:
“Why is this person coughing?”
“Does this person have an infection in their bladder?” I’m sure you get the idea.
The problem is that sometimes the questions us doctors have in our head are not the same question patients have in theirs. This is why it’s vital to have some questions to ask your doctor.
By sharing your questions, the doctor will be able to help answer your specific concerns and you get more out of your appointment. When you guide the doctor to the area you are most concerned, both you and your doctor will be sure all questions are addressed.
Some easy ways to frame questions to ask a doctor might be to share your biggest worry up front: “Doctor I’m concerned this might be cancer, what is the best way to find out if this is the case?”
Other common questions to ask a doctor can be about which treatment is the best, do you require particular testing or even should the case be reviewed by a particular specialist.
The take home point is to never feel afraid to ask questions when seeing your doctor. We all want the best outcome for you and your family.
Have you ever had a mismatch between your questions and your doctor? I’d love to hear your experience.
Yours in good health.