MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENT
Checklist of questions to ask your doctor at your appointment:
Tests, such as blood tests or scans
- How and when will I get the results?
- Who do I contact if I don’t get the results?
- Are there other ways to treat my condition?
- Are there any side effects or risks?
- How long will I need treatment for?
- How will I know if the treatment is working?
- How effective is this treatment?
- What will happen if I don’t have any treatment?
- Is there anything I should stop or avoid doing?
- Is there anything I can do to help myself?
- Do I need to come back and see you?
- Who do I contact if things get worse?
- Do you have any written information?
- Where can I go for more information?
- Is there a support group or any other source of help?
Before your appointment
- Write down your two or three most important questions.
- List or bring all your medicines and pills – including vitamins and supplements.
- Write down details of your symptoms, including when they started and what makes them better or worse.
- Ask your hospital or surgery for an interpreter or communication support if needed.
- Ask a friend or family member to come with you, if you like.
During your appointment
- Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t understand. For example,‘Can you say that again? I still don’t understand.’?
- If you don’t understand any words, ask for them to be written down and explained.
- Write things down, or ask a family member or friend to take notes.
Before you leave your appointment
- you’ve covered everything on your list
- you understand, for example ‘Can I just check I understood what you said?’
- you know what should happen next – and when.Write it down.
- who to contact if you have any more problems or questions
- about support groups and where to go for reliable
- for copies of letters written about you – you are entitled to see these.
After your appointment, don't forget the following
- Write down what you discussed and what happens next. Keep your notes.
- Book any tests that you can and put the dates in your diary.
- ‘what’s happening if I’m not sent my appointment details,’ and
- ‘can I have the results of any tests?’ If you don’t get the results when you expect – ask for them. Ask what the results mean.