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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    What questions should you ask the Doctor?

    When you consult a Doctor, whether a GP or a specialist, you will be asked about your problem, your health history, etc. You will then be prescribed a course of treatment and given certain medicines. Some doctors ask only a few questions, others many. What about you, as the patient? Do you ask the Doctor any questions? I personally think you should, not just accept at face value everything the Doctor advises, even if he/she is a highly reputed one.

    I like to know from the Doctor -
    1. Does this medicine have any side effects?
    -Now, most doctors will say "All medicines have some side effect or the other" and they will ask whether you have acidity problems or an allergy. Nevertheless, I prefer to know exactly what kind of side effects a medicine will have. For example, if a tablet causes dizziness or nausea, I would definitely like to know this. I think it is essential to know properly, whether a tablet, capsule or even a syrup, because it is possible that you are having some health problem which may get aggravated by taking that medicine and it is possible that your doctor did not ask about it or it did not occur to you to mention it, thinking that it is unimportant. Keep in mind that there are tablets that cause sleepiness and these must definitely be avoided if you are driving.

    2. Is the prescribed medication an antibiotic?
    - The reason why this is important is that an antibiotic has a certain course, such as three days, or five days, or even a week or more. It is essential to complete the full course, even if you feel better after, say, one day of taking it.

    There are other kinds of queries I put to the Doctor, which I will state later. What about you? Do you question your Doctor?
  • #686397
    We must ask the doctors questions about the effectiveness of the drugs and their side actions. This is very important and the patient should not feel shy about it. Due to the commercialisation of medical services the doctor may sometime answer in cryptic ways as the patient will not go for the unnecessary tests which the doctor might be prescribing for earning extra money. All the doctors are not following the medical ethics. Some of them are very money-minded.

    I had gone to a doctor who prescribed me calcium on a daily basis. I asked him after how many months I should discontinue and then when to continue or not continue. He could not answer immediately but later told me that after every 2-3 months do not take it for one month and then again start the same cycle. Unfortunately, these things, doctor will never tell from his side. They never like to entertain or educate the patient and that is of course true also as all the people are not aware with medical science even a little bit of it.

    If you are really serious then ask your doctor -

    1. What will be the general side effects of these medicines?
    2. If no improvement in 2-3 days will you change the medicines?
    3. If I do not take these medicines what are the chances as per your experience that I will be cured by the body system itself.
    4. Are all the tests you are advising necessary?
    5. If I get some adverse reactions or allergy then what I should do?

    Knowledge is power.

  • #686400
    There are three types of people who visit the doctors, One who asks many questions and the other who just answer what is asked whereas the third falls in between the two. It is good to know about the treatment prescribed or the medicine as you know yourself better and the cause of some medicine in the past. Many shy away from the doctor and may not ask any question as they feel doctors know everything while some only ask about the medicine or some typical question. As we live, we tend to come across many people who had similar problems and the course they had taken or the side-effect they faced with the course. We may have that in mind and it is better to clarify every doubt before leaving or taking the course. One needs to have faith in both God and the doctor to get healed.

    Some of the questions that are asked by many are:
    i) What is the real problem or cause for it(disease/problem)?
    ii) Is it viral or rare cases?
    iii) Is there any alternative medicine for it?
    iv) My cousin or friend had a similar problem and their doctor had prescribed this or that medicine.
    v) Is the test required?
    vi) Is there any major thing to worry about the result?
    vii) Can I go to work or send him to school/college?
    viii) When should I come back?
    ix) What is the main cause or reason for it?
    x) Will this medicine work?
    xi) Do I have to take all these medicines?

    Limit your "alway's" and your "never's." - Amy Poehler??

  • #686402
    Asking questions to a doctor is very important according to me and it is for your own satisfaction, goodness and awareness. Some of the questions I generally ask for myself or others accompanied are :

    1. What had caused this infection/pain/ailment?
    2. What all among the list prescribed are antibiotics (a definite question.)
    3. Are there any probiotic listed too. (I feel, this is very important to be known especially when we take kids. As antibiotics kill some of the good bacteria as well, they become weak and lose weight in its due course. Probiotics could be of good supplement to it.)
    4. Are there any food restrictions?
    5. I will let know of any allergies that I have on my own and confirm if the prescribed medication is related in any way?
    6. When should I see you next if at all there is no recovery?

    Also, would like to put forth that I have felt hesitant in asking questions to few of the doctors I have met. There are few doctors I have observed from my experience, kind of very strict and ignore to spend more than 5-10 minutes for simple ailments. To be straight, they want to dodge questions either because of the patient crowd or they are highly experienced and feel so monotonous of our silly questions. And sometimes they have answered even rudely/or out of the topic to the questions posed. This has made me to refrain from asking questions these days to few doctors especially government physicians assuming that am wasting doctor's time. With private hospital doctors, have had a better experience I feel and you could guess the reason. Nevertheless, a doctor has to be polite and gentle in handling the patient, after all doctor's word is something which has the potential to do wonders and that instills confidence and belief too in the patients to stay off fear of whatever medical condition they go through.


    "Stay Hungry, Stay foolish".

  • #686405
    I do appreciate the author for raising this nice post which needs to be discussed. As far as I am concerned, we are invariably visiting the family doctor first and he or she shall treat us regularly and also knows each patient's medical history and we also feel free to talk to him leisurely. Many a time being a family physician the doctors also oblige us with free sample of medicine, of course, that is suitable for our aliment and as far as my doctor is concerned, he shall diagnose every ailment properly and if needed only he recommends for tests, and gives the medicine available with him or write the medicines to be procured. He also explains to how to take the dosage and also prescribe the antibiotic tablets and vitamin tablets to sustain pain killer medicines. So family doctor always listens to us with care and alse serves with love.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #686406
    Of course, there may be many questions hovering on the minds of the patients, their questions remain unsolved because of the hesitation of the patients or concious of the limited time, he is being allowed for such a consultation. He is even aware of the crowds of the patients outside the consultation room where the patients are waiting eagerly for their turn.
    The patient would answer the responses asked by the doctor in a nut shell and would follow the medicines as prescribed by the doctor.
    However, the consultation fee the especialist/ doctors has multiplied sorbitantly in the recent time, he should get his doubts clarified before leaving the consultation room.
    You should ask the doctors the following questions-
    1) What should be done if dizziness persists after taking the medicine for a couple of hours?
    2) Should the medicines be taken in empty stomach or to be followed after some food?
    3) Will it be necessary to turn up again for the next follow up?
    4) In the event of serious development, what precautionary steps should be taken?

  • #686407
    Usually, some doctors gather more information from us about our previous health conditions and the type of medicines that we are using previously when we visit the first instance. Some doctors don't ask for much information about the previous health condition of the patient. So it is very important for us to tell about the previous state of our health to get the correct prescription for our ailment. The following questions may be asked while taking treatment from a doctor:-
    1. What does the doctor's physical test or clinical tests are indicating about the ailment?
    2. What is the role of the medicines prescribed by the doctor in curing the ailment?
    3. At which time of the day, the medicines have to be taken- whether before or after breakfast, before meals or after meals?
    4. Will the use of these medicines have any side effects?
    5. How much duration these medicines have to be consumed?
    6. When we have to revisit the doctor?
    7. In case of emergency, how can we approach the doctor on the phone?

  • #686476
    It is my practice to ask questions when I go to a doctor for treatment for myself or for any other member. I will also tell him if there are any special points to be noted.
    My wife can't tolerate high potency medicines and she will become very weak. So I tell the same thing to the doctor when I took her to the doctor.
    When he finally starts writing medicines I will ask him what is the problem actually and how he is going to plan the treatment. I will also ask him about the side effects of the medicines.
    Generally many doctors these days will not say unless otherwise, we ask about dos and don'ts. So I will ask him about what to eat and what not to eat. What I should do and what I should not do also.
    We may be using some medicines continuously. I will tell the names of the medicines to the doctor and ask him whether I can take them while I am using these medicines or not.
    I may be using some Ayurvedic medicines also. I will ask him whether I can continue or discontinue those medicines for a while.
    I will also ask him whether I can attend my regular work or any change in the routines required.

    always confident

  • #686515
    Whenever we have health problems it is sure to drain our pockets.We have to choose home remedies for a few minor problems. The medicines so collected cannot be reused because of the expiry date and difference in the ailment or infections which we suffer.Hence we have to take doctor's advice to get knowledge of reducing the possibilities of ill-health.
    I would ask my family doctor:
    1.How did such fever or infection arise?
    2. Which food should not be taken during the treatment ?
    3.I am allergic to some medicines, please don't prescribe tablets related to such medicines.
    Since i already have knowledge of antibiotics, if doubtful only then
    will i reaffirm from the doctor.
    I will give two days extra and go back after the prescribed treatment period ,usually it is three to six days if there is improvement in health.This is because my family doctor will not charge for giving him the feedback that i am healthy.
    Sometimes the given medicine will not support and side effect follows,then i follow it up immediately for a change in medicine.

    Lead the leader

  • #686682
    Some further important queries to be put to a Doctor have arisen through this discussion. One is the matter of tests. I have found that some people when instructed to do a blood test overlook the fact that they should have asked whether or not the test is to be done on an empty stomach (fasting) or it is Ok to do the test after eating. Yes, the doctor is supposed to inform the patient, but it is quite possible that this information is not conveyed at all! Another aspect of a fasting blood test that many are not aware of is that you require to keep a gap of 12 hours between your last meal of the day and the test to be done the following morning. So if you have dinner at 8 p.m., you must be in the path lab on time to get the blood taken at 8 a.m. the next day. Similarly, if you are doing the test at home, the blood technician should be there on time. People with diabetes should also confirm when the second test (after eating) should be done - two hours after eating? four hours after eating? I think the schedule is really important to get accurate results.

    Another important point brought up is food. How many of us bother to ask the doctor which foods to take and which foods to avoid for that particular health problem? Some health issues may be such that we may even have to consult a nutritionist or dietician separately.

    I also agree that sometimes doctors needlessly suggest tests. If you feel so, I think it is advisable to take a second opinion.

    Suhasini - as far as health is concerned, never hesitate to ask doctors questions, no matter that you worry about wasting their time. Health is wealth. So ask!

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #686734
    Normally doctors will not entertain us and not answer our queries and even if they answer it will be more cryptic on that. Still I will like to ask them about the side effects created by the particular medicines.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #686815
    Yes, Neeru, you do get some Doctors who are not really keen on answering your every query. As mentioned in one of the responses, they are likely to be impatient because they are aware of a lot of other patients waiting outside and generally consider you a pest if you ask too many things! However, I think that there are some good Doctors who are extremely patient, kind and gentle in trying to dispel your doubts and fears. Such doctors are reassuring to interact with and we are more than willing to consult them again and again.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

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