What to Ask About Your Diagnosis
By Joy Pierce Mathews for Summit Medical Group
The Summit Medical Group model of care focuses on well-coordinated, comprehensive, and convenient care that puts patients first. To ensure that you receive the highest standard of care, the Group wishes to help you:
- Take a role in your health care
- Ask questions
- Understand your condition or disease
- Understand and decide about your treatment options
Our Doctor Discussion Guide can make it easier for you to ask important questions when you visit your doctor and if you are diagnosed with a condition or disease. Download the Guide and follow these simple steps:
1) Place the Doctor Discussion Guide in a convenient location such as your refrigerator before your appointment. Having it handy will make it easier to make notes on it as you think of things you’d like to ask your doctor.
2) Write down all questions, concerns, or side effects that you are having.
3) Use the section at the bottom to write additional questions or make notes about recommendations your doctor has about your health, medications, and follow-up appointments.
4) Take all your medication bottles to your appointment or list them with the proper dosing below.
Don’t feel embarrassed to ask your doctor about any concerns you have about your health. Remember that he or she can only provide the care you need if you are honest about your complete medical history, including your lifestyle habits such as smoking, your diet, emotional problems, alcohol and drug use, and not taking medications as prescribed.
If you have recently been diagnosed with a condition or disease, you should ask:
1) What is my diagnosis?
2) What is the technical name of my disease/condition and what does it mean?
3) What is my prognosis? What can I expect for the future?
4) Will I need to make changes in my lifestyle or habits?
5) Is there a chance that someone else in my family might get or have the same condition/disease?
6) Will I need special help at home to manage my condition/disease?
7) Is there treatment for my condition/disease?
8) What are my treatment options?
9) What does it cost?
10) Will my insurance cover treatment costs?
11) What are the benefits and risks associated with my treatment options?
12) How soon do I need to make a decision about my treatment?
13) Will I need any additional tests?
14) What information, organizations, resources, and support do you recommend?
15) Is there a clinical trial (research study) that might be right for me?
Use this section to list any symptoms or other concerns you would like to discuss with your doctor.
Please click on any of the following links for a list of downloadable questions about:
- Tests or procedures
- Choosing a practitioner
- Choosing a health plan
- Choosing a hospital
- Long-term care