4 Questions Your Physician Wants You to Ask
So you’ve found a physician you trust, respect, and even enjoy. Congratulations - that’s the first step. Now, it’s time to think about how to transform the relationship beyond one of merely patient/care provider. Having an open, honest partnership with a care provider can go a long way in helping you live your best, happiest, healthiest life. The next step on the path to better? Asking the right questions. Here are four things every physician wishes their patients would ask.
1. Can I prevent “this” from happening again?
In your situation, the “this” might be an ear infection, strep throat, weight gain, etc. While many ailments are unavoidable and simply happen by chance, some can be prevented. Asking a physician what can be done to prevent a specific condition like heart disease or diabetes or just live a healthier lifestyle is a proactive way to take control of your health. Your physician might be able to offer strategies that help you achieve your goals, and prevent a repeat occurrence.
2. Why am I taking this medication?
Prescriptions can be confusing. And if you’re taking more than one medication, it can be easy to forget the specific reasons, side effects and details of each medicine. If questions arise or you ever have any uncertainty about anything regarding a prescription (maybe even one you’ve been taking long-term), don’t hesitate to ask your physician. They want you to be knowledgeable about your health, and will welcome the chance to have a conversation about something so important.
3. The internet says this. What do you think?
It’s only natural for patients to search the internet for answers to every ache, pain and sniffle. But, unsurprisingly, research shows that putting too much stock in online medical information can have negative consequences. Health information found online can greatly impact whether or not people seek actual medical attention, and even affect how much they trust their physicians’ advice. The moral of the story? It’s totally okay to research medical conditions, but be sure to share your thoughts, findings and questions with your physician. And while the internet might be great for finding healthy zoodle recipes and powerful workouts, leave the medical diagnosing to the actual living and breathing professionals.
4. What’s the best way for me to get healthy?
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain weight or build muscle, our modern world is packed full of quick fixes and miracle solutions, many of which can be dangerous and even life threatening. Every body responds to diets and exercise differently, and every person has different capabilities and goals. It’s especially important to talk with your physician before starting a diet if you have conditions like diabetes or hypertension, as some conditions call for a specific type of diet. Your physician will be able to help create a personalized plan that will help you achieve your goals in a healthy, responsible way. Yes, this means work. No quick fixes allowed!
In the end, all the best questions in the world don’t matter at all if you’re not comfortable with your current physician. There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing a physician, including convenience, location, insurance coverage, availability and ease of appointment scheduling, and personal preference. We can help find the primary care physician that’s right for you.
It’s important to remember every person isn’t compatible with every physician, and that’s okay. It’s completely within your rights as a patient (and a human being!) to choose a physician you are comfortable with. After all, your health and well being are on the line.
Interested in connecting more to the Northwestern Medicine community? Sign up for
the Healthy Tips E-Newsletter for
everything from health and wellness ideas to patient breakthroughs to academic and medical
advancements. Because what makes you better, makes us better.