Questions to Ask
We all know how important it is to be an informed medical consumer. We all know that we must be our own best advocates. What can be more difficult is knowing what to ask. There are huge variations among us re how much we want to know. Some women pick their doctors carefully and then defer to all of their suggestions. Some women wish that their doctors would tell them what to do, not offer choices. Some women try to educate themselves about every possible drug, surgical option, or side effect. In this cancer world, where everything feels out of control, this is one way we try to maintain a little control over our bodies and our lives.
Here is a wonderful set of basic questions from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Whatever your style and whatever the medical situation, these are helpful.
- What is the test for?
- How many times have you done this procedure?
- When will I get the results?
- Why do I need this treatment?
- Are there any alternatives?
- What are the possible complications?
- Which hospital is best for my needs?
- How do you spell the name of that drug?
- Are there any side effects?
- Will this medicine interact with medicines that I'm already taking?
For more questions: