Going to the doctor can be overwhelming, whether you’re just going in for your usual check-up or you’re visiting for a specific reason. With so much on your mind—not to mention all the information your doctor may throw at you—knowing all the right questions to ask can seem impossible. Which can result in you leaving the doctor’s office with a ton of questions, and the regret that you didn’t ask them sooner.
To avoid this, it’s useful to prepare yourself ahead of time, perhaps even writing down the questions you plan to ask eat your next doctor’s appointment. But what exactly are those questions?
Thanks to Consumer Reports, you don’t have to come up with those questions on your own. As part of their Choosing Wisely campaign, they’ve come up “5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor.” Asking these questions can help you avoid medical tests, medications and procedures that aren’t right for you, and can also help you avoid any unnecessary, duplicate or overly risky care. Here there are:
1. Do I really need this test or procedure?
2. What are the risks and side effects?
3. Are there simpler, safer options?
4. What happens if I don’t do anything?
5. How much does it cost, and will my insurance pay for it?
If this seems like a lot to remember, don’t fear. You can get these questions printed out on a wallet card so that you never have to worry about forgetting the important stuff in the moment. To get a free copy of the “5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor” wallet card from Consumer Reports, send an email to [email protected] with your name and address.
Speaking with your doctor can seem intimidating, but if you know what to ask, it can help you stay informed when it comes to making smart decisions about your health.