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Questions to Ask Your Doctor

This questions can help you start conversations about common health problems and concerns. You may want to print the list out and bring it to your doctor's appointment. You don't have to ask all of the questions — or even any of them — but you can use them as a guide.

Questions for establishing open communication with your doctor:

  • Will you keep any information I give you confidential?
  • Is it OK for me to see you without my parents in the room?
  • If I need to, can I see you without my parents knowing about the visit?

Questions for an illness or symptom:

  • What's wrong with me?
  • Can you draw me a picture or show me what's wrong?
  • What causes this type of problem?
  • Is this serious?
  • Can I give this illness to someone else, and if so, how and for how long?
  • Are there any activities or foods I should avoid until I'm better?
  • When can I return to school or work?
  • How can I prevent this from happening again?

Questions for medications:

  • What does this medicine do?
  • What will happen if I don't take it?
  • What are the side effects?
  • How long should I take it?
  • What if I accidentally miss a dose?
  • If I don't notice any improvement, how long should I wait before calling you?

Questions for tests and treatments:

  • Why is this test needed?
  • What will happen if I don't get the test?
  • Are there any risks involved?
  • Will it hurt? If so, is there anything we can do to lessen the pain?
  • Can you perform the test or treatment in your office, or will I need to go to a lab or other facility?
  • What are the side effects?
  • How should I prepare for the test or treatment?
  • What side effects or changes should I report to you?
The more questions you ask, the more you discover about your body. And when you know what's going on with your body, you can take better control of your own health — today and in the future.
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