Questions to ask at your next doctor’s appointment

Doctors with Ascension Medical Group start by listening to understand you and your concerns. Then we deliver care that’s right for you.

Your doctor is ready to answer your questions and deliver care for all your needs — big and small. If you don't know where to go or what to say, talk with a doctor with Ascension Medical Group, we are here to listen. Bring your list of concerns and questions that are on your mind — a pain bothering you, a worry that won't go away, stress and strain.

I am concerned about something. What can I do about it?

Have you been searching online for answers? Maybe you are worried about your family history and whether the condition a parent has will impact you. Or maybe you have a new symptom like a cough or skin growth that you’ve noticed over the last few months. Write down some notes about changes and new symptoms. Ask your doctor about these things.

What screenings and tests are right for me with my health history and my age?

There are many preventive screenings that can help find cancer early when it is most treatable or before it starts. Screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies may be recommended for you at different ages, depending on your family and health history. Ask your doctor about screenings.

Are my prescriptions still working well for me?

When you go for your checkup, bring a list of all your medications and supplements or vitamins. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about side effects. Ask whether your medications are still working for you.

Am I at risk for heart disease? How are my numbers, and what can I do?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States each year. Knowing your risk could help you make lifestyle changes or get treatment early, before it gets worse. Talk with your doctor about a screening and about your heart health.

What are my blood sugar numbers?

More than 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, and the number grows every year. If your numbers are too high, your doctor may be able to help you prevent diabetes through medication and through suggesting simple changes to your diet.

Do I need to see a specialist? Can you refer me to one?

Talk with your doctor about specialists you are thinking about going to see and the health concerns that made you decide to go. Your primary care or family medicine doctor may be able to take care of some of your concerns — from dermatology and basic gynecological care and mental and emotional healthcare. Your doctor can also help connect you with a specialist right for you, such as a cardiologist. And as part of your care team, your primary care doctor can help monitor your medication and help with recovery after surgery, if needed.

What vaccinations do I need?

Even as adults, there are vaccinations that may be recommended for you based on risk and age, such as vaccinations for flu or pneumonia or a booster for whooping cough. Talk with your doctor to make sure you are up to date. Vaccinations can help protect you from diseases that can make you very sick and may cause long-term health problems.

When should I get care for my back, shoulder, knee or hip pain?

Back, shoulder, knee and hip pain can keep you from enjoying the simple things in life, such as walking outdoors on a beautiful day or spending time with family and friends. Keeping up with daily tasks can be difficult when you have back or joint pain. If your pain is affecting your daily life, talk with your doctor. If you need more advanced care such as back surgery or joint replacement, your doctor can connect you with an orthopedic specialist who is right for you.

What if I need surgery? Will my doctor be involved?

If you have a condition that requires surgery–such as getting your gallbladder removed for gallstones or a hernia repair–your doctor is here for you. Your doctor will connect you with the specialist or surgeon who is right for you. As part of your care team, your primary care doctor will help monitor your recovery and manage any related and ongoing care or medications along with your specialists. Think of your primary care doctor as the center of all your care.

What can I be doing to improve my health?

Ask about things like your weight, amount of sleep and exercise, stress and diet. Find out whether you should be concerned and ask what you can do to help improve your overall health. Another piece of this is feeling comfortable enough to be honest with your doctor. Things like not being able to lose weight, drinking alcohol, work stress and sleep issues can all be linked. By starting a conversation with your doctor, we can address your concerns and create a care plan that meets your needs. If you need specialty care, your doctor connects you with specialists in weight loss surgery, neurology, cardiology and more.

Will my insurance cover this?

Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about insurance coverage or cost for a recommended test or even a medicine your doctor is prescribing. For some medicines, a generic drug may be less expensive, for example. If you have concerns about cost and payment, bring those up with your doctor.

When should I come in for another visit?

Regular visits are important to help catch things early and to make sure you are staying healthy. But everyone is unique. Ask your doctor when to schedule your next visit.

Start a conversation with a doctor today.