Questions to ask at your doctors appointment

Posted by Laurie @roch, Oct 18 2:36pm

I ran across a web site that has great examples of questions to ask during your appointments. It has pages for risk, diagnosis, treatment, etc….
https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/living-with-cancer/your-healthcare-team/questions-to-ask/?region=on
I always have few questions prepared before any appointment.

Laurie

Hi Laurie @roch, Thanks for creating this discussion! You will notice I changed the title of the discussion to hopefully better describe what the discussion is about. There is another great site by Dr. Victori Montori – The Patient Revolution that has some nice conversation planning cards you can print out in English or Spanish to help with the task of planning what questions to ask the doctor and how to plan your conversation ahead of time.
https://patientrevolution.org/visit-tools

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@johnbishop

Hi Laurie @roch, Thanks for creating this discussion! You will notice I changed the title of the discussion to hopefully better describe what the discussion is about. There is another great site by Dr. Victori Montori – The Patient Revolution that has some nice conversation planning cards you can print out in English or Spanish to help with the task of planning what questions to ask the doctor and how to plan your conversation ahead of time.
https://patientrevolution.org/visit-tools

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Hello @roch and @johnbishop

@roch, as John said, I do appreciate your bringing up this discussion in the Cancer group. It is vital that patients learn how to make the best use of the time they spend with their health care providers, whether in person or on a video chat.

We are all aware that health care has changed due to COVID and other factors, spending time with a doctor has become an important (and perhaps a precious) part of the patient's experience. I found both of the websites you posted to be very helpful in thinking about how to best talk with your doctor at an appointment.

On Mayo Connect, we also have a discussion group titled, Tips on How to Get Off to the Best Start With a New Specialist. Here is the link to that discussion.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/your-tips-on-how-to-get-off-to-the-best-start-with-a-new-specialist/
I'm looking forward to seeing this conversation continue. I'm sure that many Members of the Connect community have developed approaches and/or plans as to how they approach a doctor's appointment.

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@johnbishop

Hi Laurie @roch, Thanks for creating this discussion! You will notice I changed the title of the discussion to hopefully better describe what the discussion is about. There is another great site by Dr. Victori Montori – The Patient Revolution that has some nice conversation planning cards you can print out in English or Spanish to help with the task of planning what questions to ask the doctor and how to plan your conversation ahead of time.
https://patientrevolution.org/visit-tools

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Thank you so much for this link! I quickly signed up for The Patient Revolution and am excited to join their ranks. Looks like a good place to be. Regards, Gina

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Hello @earscan,

I'm glad to hear that you signed up for The Patient Revolution. I've heard Dr. Victori Montori speak and also read one of his books. He does have revolutionary ideas regarding patient care. He is doing some great work.

Would you like to share a bit about yourself and what brought you to Mayo Connect?

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Thank you so much! I was an audioprosthologist and had 4 clinics working with the hearing impaired. My obgyn doc did a D&C and in one week I meet with the medical director of the obgyn dept for exploration. Being a blue-eyed redhead, we are sort of peculiar people LOL. I have squamous cell carcinoma of the uterus and malignant neoplasm of the endometrium. I have had SCC before. But I am just starting and hoping to find a cookbook for cancer patients, and connecting with my new family at Mayo. What I have learned is that "I am not alone!" The people here are incredible and sharing and connecting like I have never experienced before. We are not "the forgotten" people here and I hope to bring something to the table here as I discover new things that will help us all. Sort of restores your faith knowing this wonderful forum exists. Thank you for reaching out! Gina

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@earscan

Thank you so much! I was an audioprosthologist and had 4 clinics working with the hearing impaired. My obgyn doc did a D&C and in one week I meet with the medical director of the obgyn dept for exploration. Being a blue-eyed redhead, we are sort of peculiar people LOL. I have squamous cell carcinoma of the uterus and malignant neoplasm of the endometrium. I have had SCC before. But I am just starting and hoping to find a cookbook for cancer patients, and connecting with my new family at Mayo. What I have learned is that "I am not alone!" The people here are incredible and sharing and connecting like I have never experienced before. We are not "the forgotten" people here and I hope to bring something to the table here as I discover new things that will help us all. Sort of restores your faith knowing this wonderful forum exists. Thank you for reaching out! Gina

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I'm so pleased that you have found support and help here on Connect, @earscan. I'm sure that there will be much that you can bring to the table here on Connect. I look forward to getting to know you better.

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Thank you, Teresa. I am excited to be here and be part of a group that understands what we all are going through. I look forward to knowing you too. Peace,, Gina

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Hi @roch, @johnbishop, @earscan

In light of this new discussion group on questions to ask your doctor. I thought that you might find this article (https://health.usnews.com/conditions/slideshows/questions-doctors-wish-their-patients-would-ask?slide=15) from US News interesting as well. It is about questions that doctors wish their patients would ask. Here is the article:

"Questions Doctors Wish Patients Would Ask

Being inquisitive during doctors' office visits is healthy. Speak up with questions like these:

What preventive care services are right for me?
Which internet resources can I trust for medical information?
How does my family medical history affect my risk for certain conditions?
Why are you prescribing this medication?
Will flying post-surgery affect my recovery?
How could high blood pressure affect my health down the road?
How does sleep impact my health?
What do you do for your personal wellness?
How many patients with my condition have you treated?
Does my child really need an antibiotic for this?
My real fear is X – how concerned should I be?
Can we talk about end-of-life care?
When should I come see you again?"

While I've considered many of these questions on my own, I haven't asked these during office visits. What about you? Do any of these questions seem pertinent to you?

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More good questions Teresa @hopeful33250, I've used variations of some of them…I know I have similar questions of these.

– What preventive care services are right for me?
– Why are you prescribing this medication?
– When should I come see you again?
– How does sleep impact my health?

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As I have aged I find I cannot remember all the questions. Computers are wonderful!! I first hand-write my questions or concerns in a notebook that I keep by my chair. Sometimes the thoughts come in spurts and not all at once. I also consult my husband on questions he thinks I might should ask. Two minds of thoughts.. most of the time.. are better than one. (I also insist he come to my appointments to help me hear and understand) I then type the list of questions out on the computer with room enough to write a synopsis of the answers.. and other information that may come up during the appointment. I used to make just one copy, but my family doctor started taking it from me and go down the list and make notes I could not read. So I now make two copies so I can write my own notes.

Computers are also great for making charts of your medications with dosage, number of times a day taken and prescribing doctor. At the top I have my Name, address and phone numbers. . and emergency contact. Underneath that I list the medications I am allergic to or have adverse reactions to and what the reactions to said medication was.. such as hives, achy muscles or even depression. At the bottom of my medication list I have an Over-the -Counter section and list all that I take on a regular basis. Such as vitamins and allergy medications. I have 3 different pharmacies I use… not by choice, but because of necessity. Our main pharmacy does not carry all my medications (my husband is retired Army and we use the small Marine base pharmacy that is about 15 miles away from our home) and because of this one prescription is by mail. We use another for non-regular medications like antibiotics. I let each pharmacy have a copy of my medication list. .. and try to keep it updated for them. I have the copy in my purse to help me out.

I also make a chart of my surgeries with my name and contact information at top just like on the medications chart. I have had so many surgeries that I cannot remember them all anymore. I put a brief description of the surgery, when done, and by what doctor and what facility it was done at (which hospital or which practice's surgery center).

I keep a copy of both charts in my purse. Copies can be easily made or changed from the computer, so I let the doctor's office or hospital have their own copies. We usually make several copies at a time and keep in a large office envelope. That way in case their is a computer problem, we have hard copies.

My doctors and the hospitals are always grateful for these printouts of questions, medications, and surgeries. They say they wish all their patients did this. Many people.. like me and my doctor.. have awful penmanship and the handwriting can be very difficult to read.

@hopeful33250 @johnbishop Those are great additional questions.

My family doctor tells me he wishes his patients would tell them what brought them to him that day. My mom was one of those patients that it was like pulling teeth to get the reason for the visit. She lived with my brother and at the time .. my dad had passed away in 2000. I was not able to meet them much at the doctor's office because of my own health. The doctor would ask mama what was going on and she would say I'm fine. Then he would ask more questions and slowly got something out of her. My brother would sit there and look like he was asleep. After me attending the first session like that. I would make notes from my phone calls with her. She lived 35 miles from me. I would also encourage my brother to write questions down.. especially when I could not attend. He would tell me he forgot the list and he could not remember what he wrote. Basically the visit winds up being a hello to the doctor. Mama did not know the right words to describe some things. She grew up in a very rural area and what is considered crude or rude words now were the norm for her family. I told mama to use whatever words she needed to.. our family doctor even though young was raised in a rural area and knew all the different words for body parts and functions. I would help her with the words when I could go to the appointments.

I did not mean for this to be so long, but maybe something in it will help someone.
ZeeGee

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@fourof5zs

As I have aged I find I cannot remember all the questions. Computers are wonderful!! I first hand-write my questions or concerns in a notebook that I keep by my chair. Sometimes the thoughts come in spurts and not all at once. I also consult my husband on questions he thinks I might should ask. Two minds of thoughts.. most of the time.. are better than one. (I also insist he come to my appointments to help me hear and understand) I then type the list of questions out on the computer with room enough to write a synopsis of the answers.. and other information that may come up during the appointment. I used to make just one copy, but my family doctor started taking it from me and go down the list and make notes I could not read. So I now make two copies so I can write my own notes.

Computers are also great for making charts of your medications with dosage, number of times a day taken and prescribing doctor. At the top I have my Name, address and phone numbers. . and emergency contact. Underneath that I list the medications I am allergic to or have adverse reactions to and what the reactions to said medication was.. such as hives, achy muscles or even depression. At the bottom of my medication list I have an Over-the -Counter section and list all that I take on a regular basis. Such as vitamins and allergy medications. I have 3 different pharmacies I use… not by choice, but because of necessity. Our main pharmacy does not carry all my medications (my husband is retired Army and we use the small Marine base pharmacy that is about 15 miles away from our home) and because of this one prescription is by mail. We use another for non-regular medications like antibiotics. I let each pharmacy have a copy of my medication list. .. and try to keep it updated for them. I have the copy in my purse to help me out.

I also make a chart of my surgeries with my name and contact information at top just like on the medications chart. I have had so many surgeries that I cannot remember them all anymore. I put a brief description of the surgery, when done, and by what doctor and what facility it was done at (which hospital or which practice's surgery center).

I keep a copy of both charts in my purse. Copies can be easily made or changed from the computer, so I let the doctor's office or hospital have their own copies. We usually make several copies at a time and keep in a large office envelope. That way in case their is a computer problem, we have hard copies.

My doctors and the hospitals are always grateful for these printouts of questions, medications, and surgeries. They say they wish all their patients did this. Many people.. like me and my doctor.. have awful penmanship and the handwriting can be very difficult to read.

@hopeful33250 @johnbishop Those are great additional questions.

My family doctor tells me he wishes his patients would tell them what brought them to him that day. My mom was one of those patients that it was like pulling teeth to get the reason for the visit. She lived with my brother and at the time .. my dad had passed away in 2000. I was not able to meet them much at the doctor's office because of my own health. The doctor would ask mama what was going on and she would say I'm fine. Then he would ask more questions and slowly got something out of her. My brother would sit there and look like he was asleep. After me attending the first session like that. I would make notes from my phone calls with her. She lived 35 miles from me. I would also encourage my brother to write questions down.. especially when I could not attend. He would tell me he forgot the list and he could not remember what he wrote. Basically the visit winds up being a hello to the doctor. Mama did not know the right words to describe some things. She grew up in a very rural area and what is considered crude or rude words now were the norm for her family. I told mama to use whatever words she needed to.. our family doctor even though young was raised in a rural area and knew all the different words for body parts and functions. I would help her with the words when I could go to the appointments.

I did not mean for this to be so long, but maybe something in it will help someone.
ZeeGee

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Thanks for those great suggestions, @fourof5zs, and for sharing your experiences talking with doctors. You've really perfected this part of your medical treatment!

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Article from CureToday.com on chemotherapy and other treatments.

Early Evidence Shows Fasting, Keto Diet May Make Chemo and Some Other Cancer Treatments More Effective and Easier to Tolerate:
https://www.curetoday.com/view/early-evidence-shows-fasting-keto-diet-may-make-chemo-and-some-other-cancrer-treatments-more-effective-and-easier-to-tolerate

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