7 Questions to ask your doctor at your next appointment

by Jennifer McGregor

According to research, many people experience anxiety about appointments with a health care provider. This anxiety might stem from the fear of judgment or apprehension about a diagnosis — but no matter what the cause may be, it’s a problem that must be addressed. This is especially true if your stress makes it difficult for you to advocate for yourself. You can overcome your anxiety by asking the following six questions, courtesy of Basil & Salt.

1. “Does my health insurance cover this?”

Understanding your health insurance is one of the most basic ways that you can advocate for yourself. It’s easy to be confused by the deductible, co-pay, and out-of-pocket max, but you owe it to yourself to review your policy thoroughly. If you’re unsure whether a specific service is covered, ask your provider or their office’s billing department.

2. “Can my friend come with me?”

Sometimes you need a little extra support when you’re at a doctor’s appointment. Having a close friend or family member by your side can soothe your tension and make it easier to feel comfortable. This, in turn, will boost your ability to advocate for yourself. Ask if your companion can join you in the exam room — in many cases, your provider will happily accommodate them.

3. “How can I adopt a healthy lifestyle?”

Living healthily is easier said than done, especially if you’re overwhelmed by work and other responsibilities. Still, it’s essential to maintain healthy habits, and your health care provider is a great resource for recommendations. They may advise you to invest in exercise by skipping the elevator and taking the stairs, or they might provide some nutritional tips for a better diet.

4. “Why is this test or procedure necessary?”

When it comes down to your treatment, it’s imperative to be informed. You don’t want to be subject to tests and procedures that you don’t understand. If you’re unclear why something is happening, ask. Your healthcare provider should be able to offer a detailed justification of the treatment in question.

5. “What can I do to minimize my symptoms?”

If you’ve received a new diagnosis, your doctor may focus on the long-term implications or the potential treatment options. If you are referred to a specialist, you’ll likely have to complete new paperwork and sign new releases. Fortunately, you can avoid having to print, sign, and scan documents; click here for more info. This online PDF signing tool makes it easy to digitally sign documents without hassle.

6. “What preventative care should I invest in?”

Many preventive care services are free to people who are insured under the Affordable Care Act. The list of covered services is long, though, and it includes many cancer screenings, infectious disease screenings, and some counseling services. You might not know which services are appropriate for your health care needs, but your doctor can help you identify the right preventive care.

7. “What can I do at home to help?”

Taking steps to make your home an environment that promotes health and well-being is a key part of boosting your overall physical, mental, and emotional health. Finding ways to reduce stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques or engaging in calming activities, can be incredibly beneficial. Keeping your living space clean and decluttered can help you feel organized and focused. And adding plants and letting in more light can help increase oxygen levels and provide a sense of peace. Taking the time to make these small changes to your home environment will go a long way toward improving your health.

Advocate for Your Health by Asking Questions You might be uncomfortable asking your health care provider questions, but if you want to invest in your wellbeing, it’s essential. These six questions can help you get vital information about your treatment and ensure that you’re fully informed. Advocate for yourself and protect your health by asking questions with confidence.

“Jennifer McGregor is a pre-med student, who loves providing reliable health and medical resources for PublicHealthLibrary.org users. She wants her writing to help make the world a better, healthier place by making it easier for people to find high quality health information on the web.”

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