Have you ever struggled to ask questions at the doctor’s office? You’re not alone. In fact, it is known as the “doorknob phenomenon.” A patient will wait until the last possible second – when the physician’s hand is on the doorknob, ready to leave – when they will ask a question that’s been on their mind.
Doctors want you to be proactive and ask questions during your visit. Whether you’re asking about your treatment, side effects of a prescription, or other topics that concern you, your doctor wants to hear you out. There is no such thing as a dumb question, especially in regards to your health.
Here are 6 questions your doctor wants you to ask.
- I researched my symptoms, but what do you think?
In the digital age, doctors expect that patients might research symptoms online before a visit to discuss those symptoms. It is not a fact you have to hide. Telling your doctor what you found online can open the door for honest communication. By knowing what you read, a doctor can put your mind at ease by correcting any misinterpretations of the online information.
- What online resources are best for learning about medical information?
Not all online information is accurate (shocking, I know). The doctor will appreciate that you’re so invested in your health. Almost any physician or nurse can provide you with trustworthy internet resources to research medical information specific to your situation.
- What should I do before my next visit?
Preventative care is the best way to take control of your health. By asking your doctor what areas of your health need some extra TLC, you can potentially prevent problems in the future. Of course, following through with advice the doctor gives is equally as important as asking the question.
- Why am I taking this medication?
Asking specific questions about your medication can give you insight into your treatment process. Sometimes doctors expect patients to blindly trust their judgment, but they also want you to understand what you’re taking and why you’re taking it.
- How many patients like me have you treated?
This question is especially important if you’re seeing a specialist for a serious disease or disorder. Having confidence in your doctor’s expertise and experience can put you at ease. For example, if you have a complex cancer case, you want to be sure you’re receiving the best treatment possible.
- Is (this symptom) normal for my condition?
Whether it is a rash, bowel issue or any other symptom, telling your doctor is key for your treatment plan and overall wellbeing. I can guarantee that even “embarassing” symptoms won’t phase your doctor. A symptom that you may consider benign could raise red flags for a physician.
During your next doctor’s visit, I hope you feel comfortable enough to ask some of these questions. Your doctor expects, and even encourages, curiosity. Your health is your business, and is something that you should be fully aware of at all times.