WHY? This is a question that every kid discovers at some point in their lives and then realizes that it is the holy grail of annoyance. I was definitely guilty of the “why bug” in my youth. I still have that feeling of inquiry but it manifests in a much less annoying way, and it usually remains an internal dialogue … lucky for those around me.
A while back I caught an episode of Oprah featuring Dr.Oz, before he became the host of his own show. They were talking about asking your doctor the right questions, and how this could prevent many medical mistakes.
I often advise my clients on what questions to ask their doctor. Here are a few tips for you next time you’re at the doctor’s office.
What do you think are the factors that might contribute to how I am feeling/my symptoms?
If they give you a prescription, ask:
- What is the drug for?
- How is it going to help me?
- How does it work?
- How long am I going to be on it for?
- What are the side effects?
If they requisition a lab test, ask:
- What is this test for?
- What information will it provide us with?
- Is it necessary and will it cause any harm?
- Is there anything I can do right now that might help me?
Research has shown that the more the patient is involved in their health care decisions, the better the outcome; especially when there are loved ones involved in the decision making process.
Be proactive, not reactive!