12 questions you should read before you see your doctor

Man visiting GP

When you see your doctor, cardiologist or other healthcare professional, it’s not always easy to know what to ask – especially if you only have a short time with them and you’re feeling worried about your health. Here’s our quick guide.

Not all of these questions will be relevant to every situation. Choose the ones that fit your circumstances and who you’re speaking to.

1. What are these tests for?

2. Can I have a copy of my test results?

3. What are the benefits and risks of this treatment/ medication? Ask for an explanation of the relative risks in a way that make sense to you. For example, ‘For every 100 people who have this surgery, how many on average will experience complications?’

4. Are there any alternatives to this treatment? 

5. What will happen if I don’t have any treatment?

6. When should I expect to hear from you/ the hospital/ the professional you’re referring me to?What should I do if I don’t hear anything?

7. I need transport to the hospital/ home from the hospital – how can I arrange this? You may be able to get help with transport, especially if you have a disability. Find out if this is available to you and how to arrange it. If you see a pre-admissions nurse before you go into hospital, this is a good time to ask about this.

8. Where can I get more information or support about my condition/ this test/ procedure/ medication?

9. Is there a support group or anything similar?

10. Who do I contact/ what do I do if things get worse?

11. Do I need to make my next appointment before I leave?

12. Is there anything I can do to help myself?

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